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Parents are often amused when they find their toddler mimicking other kids, adults and even what they see on TV. Though there’s nothing wrong with this, excessive mimicking can affect thinking abilities and creativity. Find out when you need to put a stop to this and how.
It’s a joy and a treat to hear toddlers mimicking the people around them, trying to speak in a grown-up manner. Mimicking is a good way to enhance a toddler’s speaking skills and help achieve other developmental milestones. However, excessive mimicking in toddlers can have an adverse effect on their speech and behaviour.
All You Need to Know about Child Mimicking Behaviour
1. Normal Mimicking Patterns in Toddlers
If you notice your child brushing his teeth when he sees you doing it, or washing his toy cups when he sees you doing the dishes, it’s normal and no reason for concern. This mimicking in toddlers can extend to repeating words you speak or mimicking your facial expressions. Though it can be a little annoying at times, don’t lose your cool as most toddlers tend to ape what they see.
2. Pattern of Toddler Copying Other Kids
Children can keep tabs on the way their playmates behave and try to mimic them. As long as your tot copies harmless behaviour, there’s no need to stop him from emulating his friends. However, if he picks up bad habits like hitting, spitting, throwing and breaking things, you may have to deal with it firmly. Though such behaviour can just be an attention-seeking gimmick, you need to set down ground rules and have your child stick to them. Conveying the message that no bad behaviour will be tolerated can help ensure he doesn’t engage in it.
3. Mimicking TV Shows and Video Games
Mimicking helps in speech development in toddlers. Since children absorb things so quickly, it’s not wise to let your child watch television shows and video games that are violent and make use of inappropriate words. He could begin uttering words that aren’t meant for his young ears. He may also start imitating unwanted actions shown on TV and video games.
4. Abnormal Mimicking
Even after your toddler achieves the speech development milestone, he might find it difficult to communicate his feelings properly. He may mimic your words and phrases to express himself instead. As time passes and he learns new words and sentences, he’ll be able to talk and convey his messages more clearly. However, if you don’t see any improvement and find that he continues to communicate only with what he hears, he may need a little special attention. Consult his doctor who can help analyse the situation and take necessary steps. Speech therapy is one such way that toddlers can improve their speaking skills
A 13-month-old child mimicking others can be very cute but as a parent, it’s important that you help it progress to something more meaningful. Mimicking shouldn’t compromise your child’s speech and creative abilities, but should pave the way for further development.
What did you do about the mimicking behaviour in your toddler? Share your experience so that other mothers can pick up ideas to help their own children.