Children learn by observing

By: Wajiha Afzal Malik

Learning is a process of gaining new experiences or transforming the existing information. Learning is easy to carry if it is obtained from the parents because that is the repeated observational learning. Children appreciate their parents without judging them because they are the role models. Children have an ability to learn more by observing others doing any kind of work. Children have brain like a plain paper. They learn good or bad from what they watch around them. First, they watch their family members, how they communicate with each other, their lifestyle, and way of living. They get same impression because they spend most of their time with them. They copy the information which is the most characteristic of humans and is called imitation. Psychologically the children are into the phase of sensitive learning, they rapidly copy the behavior of their parents which is imprinted on their minds. Sometimes the learning is the result of an event which is recorded in their memory and by observation and repetition becomes a part of their habits. Secondly, they adopt many habits from the society. If they communicate with well-educated or well-mannered people then they can learn good moral values and if their neighborhood and society members have some bad qualities it influences them negatively.
Similarly, children have parents who teach them and prepare them for life. Parents have the first and strongest influence on their children. Children observe their way of doing the things. People who are chain smokers or alcoholics must know that children watch their activity and they are leaving bad impression on the children’s mind. Sometimes these activities have a deep impact on young children’s brain and heart. They learn their first lessons from these situations because it’s the parents that guide them about these situations.
The peer group plays a major role in shaping an individual. As it is often said “A man is known by the company he keeps”. Bad company has a negative influence over a child. This is because the teenagers listen more to their friends than their parents and teachers. The peer group can turn denial into acceptance and gives the children sense of fulfillment in life. Children enjoy playing with friends more than anything in life; there are times when they want to stay with their friends more than their parents. Learning from friends is kind of magnetic and it has creative force in it. They open heart out with their friends and see a gleam of pleasure in their eyes. They believe in them and in a way they are their spiritual guides. Friends and peer group are a kind of sheltering tree for children so whatever they say turns a meal into a feast and a house into a home. We all have at times bent over backwards to please a friend be it a colleague at workplace, a friend at college or even a playground buddy at school. Sometimes in pursuit of pleasing friends and to come in each other’s good books they start to covet one another. There are many instances where a good child was spoiled due to bad social circle.
So we conclude that it is true that children learn best by observing the behaviour of adults and they try to copy it. It is the adults who should watch their behaviour and try becoming a good influence and example for the children.