My husband used to know some people who would look around to see what was "new", "popular", "in" or "looked good" and immediately copy it. Not necessarily because they really liked it, or saw it as suiting them, but it was their nature to just go ahead and copy someone.
It can be annoying to have someone copy you all the time (my Mum says her little sister used to copy her, I was the youngest of two so I didn't know how that would feel) - but as my husband always says "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." And when it comes to our children they will surely imitate us - it's the way they learn!
My little guy in the picture above was "taking a photo" with his "camera" on the beach. He had been watching me!
Here's a bit from my book about imitation:
IMITATION ONCE AGAIN
Babies and children learn so beautifully from imitation. A baby and child's desire to imitate is so strong that we MUST ensure all our words and actions are worthy of imitation. Don't let your children learn to be grumpy, impatient, complaining or rude from your example!
Pray for a sweeter, kinder, more gentle and patient attitude. Be brave enough to ask someone close to you if they will point out when you are getting snappy or off-hand with your children – they don't need to announce it, perhaps just a “look” will remind you to bring your tone down, or remember to look at your child as you speak, instead of issuing commands as you walk out of the room.
A very practical way to learn a better attitude, worthy of imitation is for YOU to imitate someone else! Find someone who speaks to children kindly, respectfully and is cheerful and positive. As much as you can walk away from the negative, dramatic, selfish, demanding, moaning, whining, complaining people who come into your life. My husband tells me of people he comes across who, when given a simple piece of cheerful information will always find something to complain about.
“Nice weather!” will be answered with “Far too hot – can’t get any energy to get going and tomorrow there’s a rotten rain storm coming over.”
Or: “Lovely drop of raining we’re having!” is answered with “I’ve got a load of washing on the line getting soaked and the garden is a mud pond.”
Then there’s: “Got much work on?” (this seems to be a fairly common phrase for tradesmen to ask each other). The negative guy or gal will answer “Coming out my ears, can’t keep up with it and everybody wants their jobs yesterday of course.” OR “Nah, hardly anything coming in, don’t know how the bills will be paid this month …” Sometimes these people can also be magnets for negative controversial information (mostly gossip), and like to file away, then share stories (definitely gossip at this stage) of the guy who was ripped off by the panelbeater and another fellow who bulldozed all his neighbours trees and made a path down the cliff to the beach even though he never got resource consent and the council never did a thing …
The words of a talebearer are as wounds, and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly. Proverbs 26:22 (KJV)
Negativity can be infectious (and gossip is sinful, damaging and poisonous). If it is within your capability you might like to try and sort out WHY a person lives in a negative frame of mind – do they need practical help, positive interests/hobbies in their life, an opportunity to serve others, encouragement, or a friend to talk to? But overall if you can, try to stay away from being over-burdened with negativity for your sake, and the sake of your children.