Up until this point, much of what your child has learned has come from watching you. He’ll continue to watch you at this age, but he’s at a point where he can imitate many of your words and actions as well. He may now not be content just to watch, but may want to join in instead, such as raking the leaves in the yard or using his toy broom to sweep the floor when he sees you do it. But not every child will jump right up to follow your every move. Instead, he may observe your actions and then imitate them later on during pretend play. So continue to model behavior for him, he is watching and learning!
How can you support your child’s development of this Building Relationships skill at this age? It’s as easy as 1-2-3.
- Keep child-sized tools handy. It’s good to have a set of child-sized cleaning items (e.g. broom and dustpan) and garden tools (e.g. rake and shovel) handy so your child can jump in and help if he wants to. This kind of imitation will also nurture his interest in helping, self-care, and care of his environment, which are things you definitely want to encourage!
- Model the good stuff. It’s important to keep in mind that children will also imitate any negative behaviors that they see. So be on your best behavior around your child, and model the behaviors you’d like to see in your child.
- Have child-safe versions of objects to keep your child from the real ones. Does your child love playing with your phone? Does he like to pull everything out of your wallet? Instead of just telling him “No, you can’t play with that,” keep a version just for him. Maybe it’s your old phone with dead batteries or an old wallet with play money or old cards. Whatever the item, it’ll keep him from hurting the real one, and he’ll enjoy playing with his very own grown-up object.
Has your baby achieved the following Building Relationships developmental milestones yet? If yes, check off all the skill(s) he has already mastered to date using Playful Bee’s developmental milestones tracker. It’s absolutely FREE and easy to use, just click HERE!
- Imitates adults.
- Feels grown up by helping with housekeeping and self-help tasks.
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