Your Clever Toddler in Week 59: The Onset of Peer Influence
What your child learns this week
Week 59 Brain Booster
Inherently, kids seek to be competent in a variety of environments with a variety of objects. And everything we know about children this age makes playing peer copycat right now seem logical. For example:
- Toddlers are innately curious. Even before their first birthdays, they use pointing as a means of asking, “What is that? How does it work? How can I get involved?”
- They’re especially interested in things the people around them are interested in—specifically, you!
- Your young child may have been following siblings around the house for some time. More recently, you may have noticed her mimicking what she sees on TV. And now, her face lights up when you copy her!
So it’s no wonder that once in a group care environment, children learn efficiently by watching more accomplished peers. This can be great for families: If your childcare provider hands out eating utensils at each meal, you may be surprised by your little one’s spoon skills one night at dinner. (Thank his lunch companions.) And later on this year, if your child is reluctant to use the potty, an accomplished peer can demonstrate how, likely inspiring your child to imitate that behavior—and ultimately leading to his toileting success!
On the other hand, you may never have seen your mild-mannered toddler be territorial about toys. Then at a family holiday gathering, your child sees a cousin with an attractive ball. She walks over, pushes the cousin, and grabs the ball right out of his hands. You’re aghast! Where did she learn this aggressive skill? It may have been from a grabby daycare peer.
And for now, we’ll pretend that’s the worst possible outcome of peer pressure!
Coming soon, look forward to: Week 60: Willing to Help Others
Review the most recent accomplishments: Week 58: Pointing as a Teaching (and Bonding) Tool
Curious about how else your toddler might be developing right now? Learn more about her clever brain and her growing body here:
- What’s happening in Month 14?
- Here’s what our pediatrician says you might be worried about this month.
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