Approval Seeking Behavior of Preschool child


Approval Seeking Behavior of Preschool child

Desire  for Approval 

The  innate desire  for approval and the accompanying tendency to  display  in order to obtain such approval are manifested very  early in life.

“The  approving words, glances,  smiles  or attitudes of other people  are  among the keenest  sources  of satisfaction.”     The wee baby shows  discomfort when the  face of the mother is  clouded with disapproval and responds with marked pleasure when she approaches with approving smiles and nods.   A little  later the child attracts the approval  of others by displaying his  accomplishments in motor coordination and linguistic development.

It  is  not  so  difficult  to be patient with or determine the attitude to  assume in dealing with the  child of the  “show  off”  or “smarty”  age when the  instinctive  origin and impulse to behave  in such a manner is  appreciated. In childhood competition enters  in the  desire to display various  acts  of skill or strength.   During adolescence the tendency enters the  intellectual  and moral realm.   At  first the person whose approval is prized is usually the mother.

Then when the  child enters  school,  the  favor of the  teacher becomes paramount; with the  awakening of the  “gang instinct” the opinion of his  chosen associates becomes  the ruling influence of his  life.

During the  “hero worship” years, the approval  of the hero  is  of course the  goal  of endeavor.   The tendency  isone which persists,  though changed,  through life.     It  is manifested  in a great variety  of ‘tirect  or subtle ways” both material  and intellectual.

Just as  approval  is satisfying,  so may disapproval be  so torturous  to the person who  is  intensely  sensitive to social  commendation,  that with  continued disapproval,  there might  result  nervous  disorders  and even mental  derangements.

The strength of this  natural  tendency  and its  value  in individual and social  development necessitates  that  it  be directed rather than suppressed. To appeal to the  love  of approval  is  certainly  justified, but the appeal  as well as the  approval must  progress  so that the child who at  first  desires only the favorable  opinion of his  teacher and classmates, will  finally be impelled to right  conduct by the forte of an ideal regardless of public opinion.


Approval Seeking Behavior of Preschool child : Need for approval personality, psychology ,general tendency, Limitation and imitative acts of children.

Approval Seeking Behavior of Preschool child

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The  instinctive tendency to imitate is defined by Kirkpatrick as the  “general tendency for the perception or image of an action to  produce a similar action.”

Thorndike  says,  “The  imitative  tendencies must be explained as the results  of the arousal,  by the behavior of other men, of either special  instinctive  responses or  ideas  and impulses which have formed in the  course  of experience,  in connection with that  sort  of behavior.”

So with many writers there  seems  to be  a rather general  opinion that  imitation is  largely a matter of habit  except  in the  cases  of what  are termed “reflex imitation,”  as when a person laughs  or becomes  afraid without  cause when  such behavior  is  observed  in others. This  form  of imitation is believed by these writers to be the manifestation of an instinctive  “root”  from which habitual imitative acts  spring.



Kirkpatrick classifies  the  imitative  acts  of children into  five groups:

(1) Reflex imitative  acts which may be  observed during the  first half of the  child’s  first year.   They include  only acts which he already has  a  “physiological  tendency to  do”  and are  aroused by sensory stimuli. This bent to  imitate reflexively persists through life and is the explanation of such phenomena as the  spread of moods.

(2)  Spontaneous  imitation is  concerned with the repetition of acts which are not  aroused by  other  instincts and without  any purpose  other than an inner impulse to  “experience  subjectively what has been observed objectively.”   This form of imitation appears during the first year also and is often combined with  reflex imitation.

(3)  Dramatic imitation is akin to spontaneous imitation.  They differ in that the  former is  stimulated by  ideas  or images  of earlier perceptions  and the activity of reproducing the  idea is  of the  child’s own making. The reproduction is  not  literal as  is  true  of spontaneous  imitation.   As with spontaneous  imitation there  is  no purpose  involved other than the  satisfyingness  of having put into  action,  however  imperfectly,  an idea which aroused the  impulse.

The tendency to  imitate  dramatically, usually begins  during the  third year, reaches  it height between four and seven,  and persists  through  life.

(4)  Voluntary  imitation is  imitation for the purpose  of gaining some end which is  satisfying.

The  impulse  is  the  desired end and the  imitation is  concerned with the mechanics  of the  repetition. The  small  child who spontaneously  or dramatically  imitates  her mother mixing a cake  is not  concerned with the method; but later, when the desire for a good cake is the stimulus,  she painstakingly observes  and reproduces the technique involved.

(5)     Idealistic  imitation is  the  attempt to  act  in accordance with an ideal which has. been built up and adopted as  a copy or  standard. It begins as  soon as  a child forms  ideas  of what  acts  are  considered more desirable than others,  and is  largely a matter of training.


Imitation,  however specialized it may be,  is  as  a “root  instinct” of tremendous  value  in education.   By virtue  of it  the  child  is  not obliged to go the  long way of  trial  and error.   Through  it each succeeding generation  is endowed with the traditions  and customs  of their ancestry as  guiding and impelling forces. Through  imitation the best  is  available to everyone, and must  involve  judgment  in choice  of models,  originality and independence.


Approval Seeking Behavior of Preschool child Article Source ; The Psycology of preschool child Submitted by Iris Coldwell Frampton


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