How can parents encourage their children to imitate them?


Research shows that imitation plays a major role in children’s development. Therefore, younger children who can observe their older siblings often develop faster than their older siblings.
Since young children enjoy and learn from imitating their parents and older siblings, it is important for parents to provide an environment where it is easy for children to imitate those around them. In this article, we will share some tips for parents of only children to create an environment that encourages imitation and promotes their child’s development.


How can parents encourage imitation and influence their child’s development?

Choose people who they are close to

Even children who enjoy imitating others will not imitate someone who he/she does not feel comfortable with. It is easy for children to sense whether the people around them are friendly and open to them or not.
In other words, imitation requires empathy for the other person, and children with an open personality are more likely to imitate others than children with a shy and cautious personality. Before encouraging shy children to imitate, it is best to focus on forming a relationship with them first.

Show examples your child can imitate

It is important for parents (grandparents) to model age-appropriate behavior and actions that their child can imitate. If children are only provided with actions that are too hard for them to imitate, they may give up right away.
When children feel successful, they are more likely to try harder in the future. So parents should watch how their child imitates them and continue to add actions that challenge them.

Provide examples that they admire and are motivated to imitate

Even adults are more motivated to try an activity or action if they admire it and think it is “cool”. The same true for children when they are encouraged to imitate others.
Children often enjoy chasing and imitating their older siblings or friends. So letting your child play with someone he or she admires is a great way to motivate him/her to imitate people around him/her.

In this article, we introduced some conditions parents should consider when creating a learning environment that encourages imitation and promotes children’s development. Children begin imitating those around them from infancy and the more children imitate the more they learn. Attending a preschool class with children of different ages will give your child more opportunities to imitate and learn from others.