Do kids pick up habits from other kids? My daughter has a regular play date with 2 boys in my condo and they are always pushing and biting, and throwing tantrums. Will my daughter pick this up, or is she more likely to behave based on how she's brought up at home?

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Most toddlers are fantastic mimics and when they see others (especially children) doing different things, they can become fascinated by the behavior. They’ll mimic these new behaviors for a week or two and in some cases longer. Some of the mimicked behavior you may enjoy, because it can be utterly charming – however – the screeching, the blow raspberries and the hitting definitely fall on the less than attractive list. It’s worth noting that scolding them non-stop is usually less than effective as a deterrent. In fact, toddlers are a stubborn bunch and the more you nag them, the more likely they are to cling to the behavior. One method that often seemed to work with my daughter when she demonstrated one of these less than attractive mimics was the following: Tell her no and remind her firmly that we do not spit/hit/scream like that Remind only once and if it continues, give them a small timeout by themselves Isolation without a large emotional reward of your reaction is a huge turn off for a toddler If the behavior continues, you may mention it to the other parents and see how they are getting along with curbing the negative behavior. After all, if they are doing nothing about it – that means your toddler will be exposed to it again and again. It may not be pleasant, but I have removed my daughter from exposure to other little ones who’s parents refused to correct them for behavior such as biting, hitting or screaming all the time. No matter what behavior you are coping with, be sure to involve your co-parent and any caregivers in a united front on that particular behavioral trait.

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Yes, children learn from each other. You could explain to her that her playmates behaviours are unacceptable and highlight that she shouldn’t feel pressured to imitate their behaviour. The way she is brought up will help her understand and accept your explanation. You will still have to impress upon her that she has to learn to differentiate for herself what are appropriate and inappropriate behaviours. Children have to learn to decide for themselves how to resist peer pressure. In my opinion, this would be a good learning opportunity for her.

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Yes they definitely do! I had been teaching my daughter to clap for weeks and she finally did it when she saw a kid do it at the park. My sister's toddler gets a lot of negative behaviour from her playdates. Make sure to take to your daughter after the playdate to explain what was good and bad behaviour. Since it's natural for them to mimic other kids (and even adults!), it's good to give your kids a heads up instead of just getting mad when the behaviour is suddenly copied a few days later.

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I agree with Ruoshan to a certain extent. It depends on how much time your kids spend with the other kids. If they play together every single day, they are likely to pick up their good and bad habits. What you can do to help the situation is being very clear that pushing and biting isn't acceptable at home. If the behaviour gets worse, it might be a good thing to consider talking to the boys' parents about it.

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Yeah kids do get influenced by their peers, who are in turn influenced by what goes on at home as well. I believe that nipping it in the bud is the best solution. One valuable piece of parenting advice that I've been given is that when reprimanding your child for doing something wrong, be sure to tell them why it's wrong, and what's a right alternative as well.

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In one word 'Yes' especially if they are young. Just like adults even kids need social validation. They want to feel accepted as part of the group. Although, the way you bring up a kid is important, they will tend to pick up habits from other kids around more easily.

My daughter also copy her friend habit from school. At certain age kids always copy their friends. Agree with Ruoshan an Emelie. I normally talk to my daughter on rationales why should not she copy her friends and tell her circumstance. It works for me.

Yes they do. How old is your daughter? If she's younger, then she may pick up bad habits easier as kids like to emulate other children. But if she is older, you can easily talk to her about the boys' behaviour and why it's not nice to behave like that.

I think during their younger years, kids are much more influenced by what happens at home than by other kids. You should explain to her what acceptable play behaviour is and trust that she will make the right decision.