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.
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