How to handle a copycat kid

Dr Richard C. Woolfson

Your preschooler imitates a lot of what she sees and hears around her. You might be cleaning a work surface in the kitchen one morning to discover that she has a small cloth in her hand and is performing the same actions that you are, or you might have noticed her studiously observing a friend of her at play, then copying his actions exactly.

For your child, such imitation is thoroughly enjoyable, and extends even to spoken language. For instance, when she hears someone say a particular phrase that grabs her attention or hears someone talk in an unusual way, she would copy that person parrot-fashion – much to your extreme embarrassment.

Kids of this age find mirror imitation fascinating. A great game is for two of them to stand facing the…

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