Deferred Imitation

monkey eating bananas

Photo by Rajesh Balouria on Pexels.com

Fleur likes to take a smartphone and walk around the room talking to an imaginary caller with familiar gesticulations and intonations. When the behavior showed up, it was curious as it was not something my wife had just recently done.

Deferred imitation is just the imitating of a behavior some time after it happened.

I know that I have to always behave around the toddler. I know that things I do and say will be repeated. The trick is that the things she repeats me doing may not be for audience that is just myself. Or even my wife or Galahad. She may do it for daycare workers, extended family, or friends.

Not all of them may find an imitated behavior adorable. Especially the daycare who might not want Fleur showing children in the class scandalous behavior only for them to repeat it for their parents.

I have to think about the downstream cause-and-effect of the deferred imitation for each and every behavior I exhibit around my copycat.

 

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