Are Toddlers Influenced by Peer Pressure?

5 years ago

Don’t dip your hand in the potty!

Don’t use Daddy’s favorite necktie to clean spilled milk!

Stop throwing your food at the dog!

Noooo! Mommy’s lipstick is not a crayon!

That list on top? It could go on for miles.

And miles.

If you have (or had) a toddler, I’m pretty sure you’ve spewed out tons of phrases that tell your kiddo what she can and can’t do.

It’s normal.

Toddlers are natural explorers and at times, are too inquisitive for their own good. But there might just be a way to “subtly manipulate” them while reserving your vocal chords (cue in sinister laugh).


Parenting isn’t always easy

That’s an understatement.

Which is why this might be welcome news: a new study suggests that toddlers are influenced by peer pressure.

Why is this important to you?

I’ll tell you in a minute.

First, let’s learn a bit more about the study

Previous studies already suggest that preschoolers use social learning or succumb to peer pressure. This time, researchers wanted to find out whether much younger children are influenced by others’ actions.

Before your search on Google…

Social learning is learning through observing the behavior of others as opposed to learning via trial and error.

Onto the exercise!

Researchers built a box with 3 holes, each with different colors. They also trained some toddlers to place a ball in only one hole, while others weren’t trained to favor any.

Now the fun part:

16 different toddlers were asked to observe the former group – 3 toddlers trained to favor a hole and one who was free to choose any.

When it was time for the 16 to place balls in the hole, guess which they chose?

What the majority selected, of course.

Now we can answer the question:

Why is this important to you?

Though the study group was small, it does make sense that toddlers imitate actions of the many.

It’s probably a built in survival instinct.

Think about it.

During the caveman days, if danger in the form of a stampeding animal herd was in full swing, toddlers would take their cue from all the other adults who were running for safety.

Now, let’s fast forward to today.

Take stock of your toddler’s friends or enlist the help of older siblings to model good behavior.

It can definitely give your vocal chords a break – even once in a while.

What do you think about the study?

(Enjoyed reading this? Do share.)

Originally posted here: Green Eggs & Moms

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