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Can toddlers developed bad habits from other siblings or relatives?

My sister has 2 daughter's a 4yr old and a 15month old and everytime they do something wrong she claims is other's people's kids fault for the way her children behave, for example the other day her 15 month old daughter started to tip her bottle over and spill milk on the floor she claims she learned that from her cousins. Is it possible to pick up bad habits from someone's else child even when they hardly see them? Input would be greatly appreciated.

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Asked by C1E01980 at 10:23 AM on May. 15, 2009 in General Parenting

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Answers (13)
  • Yes they will pick bad habits, but it is your job as a mother to stop it as soon as you see it.

    Answer by gammie at 10:27 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • yes they can as a mother i wont aloud my daughter to play with her cousin he is mean and the reason im posting anonymous is because my family is on here i dont want them to know who i am

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:29 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • I see ur points but this particular person does not bring her children around their cousins a whole lot so I don't see why she should blame other people's children for what her kids do, when alot of it is normal toddler behavior, for example throwing fits, and spilling milk etc.

    Answer by C1E01980 at 10:32 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • It's possible but if the child doesn't see this other kid often, then probably not. My SO's aunt used to blame my son for her daughter's behaviour when they only came to visit us once! They came to our house and I didn't notice anything wrong with the way they were playing. My son was 4 and the little girl was 2. Then we went to their house a couple weeks later and her daughter was being mean. She would grab toys out of my son's hand and when he was trying to go outside, she ran towards the door and threw her body against, it slamming his arm in the door. I was looking at her mom waiting to see if she would discipline her. Instead she told me, "She learned that from him, from the last time we were at your house." I was like ok, they spent an hour playing and he totally corrupted her!

    Answer by Anonymous at 10:38 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • If your toddler sees another toddler do something and then copies the bad behavior, then they did essentially pick it up from the other child. However, if they go home and continue to exhibit the bad behavior without being corrected by their parents, then the parents are the ones that are promoting the bad behavior by allowing it to continue. If the children were together more frequently, then I might put more blame on the other child's actions because they would have greater influence; siblings would have a much greater influence due to the amount of time they were together and the number of times the toddler would witness the bad behavior. I think spilling milk is an experimental behavior that the child would more than likely tried on his/her own at some point anyway; my older child was not around any other children as a toddler and she pulled that trick a few times.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:44 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Yes, they can but it could also be because the parent isn't teaching their kids to act properly and just blaming someone else.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:49 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Another thought - coppying something ONCE is not a HABIT: if the the children spend very little time together then the bad behavior could not be a HABIT. The bad behavior will only become a HABIT if it is allowed to continue for a more extended period of time.

    Answer by TweenAndTwinMom at 10:52 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Heck yeah! My DS's are 2 and 3 and their sisters are 15 and 18. They really have to watch things like telling one another to shut up because the boys will repeat everything they say.

    Answer by salexander at 11:25 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Well of course, As adults we learn from other adults as well, A routine for a child seeing someones actions all the time will definiatly hold close to their minds and they will indeed, do what most of the other children or adults do I explain to my two year old if i see my nieces and nephews doing something wrong i tell her that's bad Lexie loo tell them to stop loo loo! she will yell STOP STOP no more please! I think if they have no choice but to see others bad habits at least they can learn from our younger children.


    Answer by LexsiesMommy at 11:34 AM on May. 15, 2009

  • Toddlers are wonderful mimics, aren't they?

    Answer by rkoloms at 12:30 PM on May. 15, 2009

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