How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Walter Your Own Question

Walter
Walter, Consultant
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience:  Mentoring Parents on Understanding and Accepting the Challenges of Parenthood.
Type Your Parenting Question Here...
Walter is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I have a five-year-old son. He is an only child ...

Resolved Question:

I have a five-year-old son. He is an only child who lives with me as a single mother. He has frequent contact with his father and I have always received praise from the family regarding his lovely manners and behaviour. As he began to spend a few days in day care and play with other children in the neighbourhood, I began to notice that he was mimicking other children''s (annoying) habits. Whenever I was a bit unsure about this, it didn''t take long observing a few of his playmates to notice where he was getting his newly found behaviour from.

Since beginning ‘big school'' this mimicking appears to be taking over more and more of his ‘old'' self. He has regressed in his speech and is talking like a 2 year old, slurring his sentences and making grammatical errors. His speech and laughter even sounds like a girls. He constantly has something in his mouth, if not a foreign object, it is his fist. He sometimes even has girlish tantrums and screaming fits. As for boyish behaviours, he sometimes treats me aggressively and with total disrespect.

I have been keeping these behaviours in check by using a time out system, however his mimicking is still going full steam ahead, and I am also not sure if I should give him timeouts for his newly acquired sucking habits. Do I have a normal kid anymore, and could my son completely loose himself?

Regards,
Marion
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Walter replied 6 years ago.

Hi Marion,

I can tell you with 100% certainly that he will not "Lose Himself". Kids are often like mirrors and mimic and playback everything they see. Sometimes its because the behavior they saw caused a reaction by someone else and sometimes it is because the behavior looked attractive or cool to the child. This is a very very common action from children and even adults. It is a known fact that if you place a person around someone who acts a certain way.....such as aggressive or loud those around that person will slowly pick up the mannerism of the more noticeable person.

Children typically try to fit in with those around them, if the child is playing with children who act in this manner the other child will start picking up these mannerisms. The old saying "Your friends will influence you" is still very true in todays society as it was when we were kids.

Now for correcting the issues......since you are already punishing him for his bad actions adding a punishment for this may push him so far that he totally acts out since he is always in trouble regardless.

What you want to do is find a way to praise him.........when he does not act out make sure you give him some good attention. Often enough we only pay attention to the bad behavior. When our children act as they should we often take it for granted that it has been a good day and walk it off. Every time he has a good day or a good action make sure you take a moment to get on his level and let him know how proud you are of his behavior. Make a point of bringing up the bad behavior. Such as:

"Thank you son for doing such as good job in the store, last week when you threw that fit it really upset me, and I am so proud of you for controlling that behavior today". Then if you have a little reward like stopping for a ice cream or maybe even a extra cookie at snack time with another "Thank you for that great behavior".

As for the mimicking you need to address it everytime......not with a punishment but with something a little simpler. Immediately get his attention, and let him know that this is not the way we act or talk and until he can talk in his normal way you will not fish the conversation. If it is the laughter, stop laughing immediately. Let him know that you miss the old laugh and when he mimics someone Else's laughter it upsets you and makes you miss his laughter. Then ask him if you can please hear his laugh.

If he continues..........then tell him you do not like it when he acts like this so he should go to his room until he wants to act like himself again. This is not a punshment....do not force him to not watch TV or play with his toys. It is just a way of telling him that you do not care for his mimicking and do not want to see it.

This may take a few weeks.....but be consistent. If you are out in public let him know you do not like it. He may continue but make sure when you get home that you tell him again that you do not like it and want him to go to his room for a while to think about how this upset you.

The reality is he is going to mimic his friends to some extent........so try and keep this in mind. He is still very young and with time he will drop this behavior regardless. In the end this is one of these stages that with time and reminding him he will outgrow.

Walter

 

Walter, Consultant
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 11528
Experience: Mentoring Parents on Understanding and Accepting the Challenges of Parenthood.
Walter and 2 other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you

JustAnswer in the News:

 
 
 
Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.
 
 
 

What Customers are Saying:

 
 
 
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
< Last | Next >
  • Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help. Mary C. Freshfield, Liverpool, UK
  • This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!! Alex Los Angeles, CA
  • Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult. GP Hesperia, CA
  • I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion. Justin Kernersville, NC
  • Just let me say that this encounter has been entirely professional and most helpful. I liked that I could ask additional questions and get answered in a very short turn around. Esther Woodstock, NY
  • Thank you so much for taking your time and knowledge to support my concerns. Not only did you answer my questions, you even took it a step further with replying with more pertinent information I needed to know. Robin Elkton, Maryland
  • He answered my question promptly and gave me accurate, detailed information. If all of your experts are half as good, you have a great thing going here. Diane Dallas, TX
 
 
 

Meet The Experts:

 
 
 
  • Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
< Last | Next >
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/IN/intrapsyc.com/2012-2-20_161928_RGMTPicturex5002012.64x64.png Rafael M.T.Therapist's Avatar

    Rafael M.T.Therapist

    Family Counselor

    Satisfied Customers:

    108
    MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/jhollo77/2010-2-6_651_Avatar.jpg Jennifer's Avatar

    Jennifer

    School Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Collaborative parent consultation on everything from modifying behavior to child development.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/VO/vodkas25/2012-1-29_16528_P1010831.64x64.JPG professional_Alison's Avatar

    professional_Alison

    Child Care

    Satisfied Customers:

    77
    Degree in early years,16 years experience in childcare
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/HU/hungryjack20/IMG_1281_edit_2.64x64.jpg Dr. L's Avatar

    Dr. L

    Psychologist

    Satisfied Customers:

    40
    Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/KaterB1270/2012-5-2_17226_016.64x64.jpg KaterB1270's Avatar

    KaterB1270

    Teacher

    Satisfied Customers:

    18
    BS Family Consumer Sciences Ed. and Masters of Art in Teaching
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/KA/Kansastherapist/2012-6-13_171911_4upon20120220at14.64x64.jpg KansasTherapist's Avatar

    KansasTherapist

    LSCSW

    Satisfied Customers:

    17
    17 years experience with depression, abuse, and borderline.
  • http://ww2.justanswer.com/uploads/norriem/2009-5-27_134249_nm.jpg NormanM's Avatar

    NormanM

    Author, lecturer and psychotherapist.

    Satisfied Customers:

    16
    ADHP(NC), DHP, ECP, UKCP Registered