Imitation of animals is useful, but if play goes beyond the limits of reason and the child becomes unable to distinguish between reality and imagination, a psychologist should be consulted.
It’s common for kids to take on the role of dad, mom, doctor, or a superhero, but what about imitating animals?
The French magazine Iter Baron says in a report that children’s choice of the characters they play is mainly related to their tastes and interests, how they understand the world around them, and how much they like those characters they see in reality or on television.
Children’s relationship with characters
A child’s desire to be someone else is part of a love of knowledge based on experience and empathy, and parents can discover the essential traits of a child’s personality through the animal or character he likes to imitate constantly.
Imitation games are not exclusive to children, as there are a variety of adult games in which the contestants portray specific characters without speaking and others guess them.
When delving into psychology, we can notice many behaviors revealed by imitation of different personalities, including some wrong behaviors.
Why do they play animal roles?
It is normal for children to imitate some real or imaginary characters or objects, but it may be strange for a child to imitate animals and not other characters.
In principle, children see a lot of animals from an early age through stories, pictures and screens.
In addition to words such as “dada” or “mama”, the young child may learn to imitate the sounds of animals, such as a cat’s meow or a dog’s barking, because they are easy to pronounce.
Many of the television programs that children watch feature animal characters who talk, eat, study, and play like humans.
Because of these motivating factors, animals become ideal characters for the child to deal with as other children deal with superheroes, and he tries to re-enact their adventures during play.
The magazine adds that among other reasons why a child imitates animals is the desire to take advantage of the space of freedom provided by animal behavior.
When a child learns the rules of behavior and etiquette with others, he realizes that unrestrained behavior is usually associated with animals, so animal imitation gives him freedom of action and exempts him from following rules such as sitting well and not screaming.
For example, when a child imitates a dog, cat, or bear, they jump, run, and roll on the ground.
In addition to the fun of playing, imitating animals provides other benefits, including the development of body language and nonverbal communication skills.
Etter Baron concludes that imitation of animals is beneficial for the child, but if play exceeds the limits of reason and the child becomes unable to distinguish between reality and imagination, a psychologist must be immediately consulted.