Thursday, September 29, 2011

Thursday Thinking – Mimicking

A few years ago I attended a workshop on teaching children to read.  The instructor, Jim Stone, said that studies show that babies begin to mimic within the first hour that they are born.  Those conducting the study took photographs of adults making different expressions.  They put the photos inside of the bassinets with the babies and within minutes the babies were trying to mimic the different expressions on the faces. 

I visualized 50 babies in the hospital nursery

doing their best to mimic what was in front of them.

Because of this workshop, I have been much more aware with Levin mimicking than I was with our babies.  I am still surprised that though he still has no control over what his arms and legs do, he can control his tongue and mouth.*  Levin opens his mouth when I open mine, sticks his tongue out when I stick out mine, and tries to click it and shape sounds around it.  It’s pretty daunting to know he’s trying to follow me so carefully.  But now it makes even more sense to me why the Lord would say, “Follow me.”  Even as babies we're real good at mimicking, and confident, happy, and hopeful are much more attractive than hysterical, enraged, and smug.    

*(Funny how that switches when we're adults isn't it? We can control our arms and legs really well but struggle with managing our mouth.  It's a conundrum.)  


Deanna/Mimi said...

Love this post Jane. It is funny, true, enlightening, and also has a strong message. Thank you for sharing.

Jill said...

It's amazing that babies can do that! I feel the weight of my example daily both at home and at school, so this post is a good reminder.

Deidra said...

I love watching Millie mimic, too. Whenever I make kissy noises, she tries smacking her lips. Lately, it's morphed into her sucking on her bottom lip and smacking it good. It's starting to get pretty chapped!

I loved the line about us as adults. Yes, it's true. Sadly.

Rachel said...

We must be sisters... I was just thinking about this very thing yesterday when I read about Amala and Kamala again. I had missed the fact the first fifty tellings or so that they never could make any other facial expressions, like happy, excited, sad, etc... (except for the ONE they had learned when they were little from the wolves - fear. They bare their teeth and growl.) So anyway, we were thinking of the exact same power/responsibility that is ours even at so young.
Now I feel kinda dumb for rambling in public.

melanie said...

I love watching a baby mimic but this is a big reminder that they stick with that and our example is everything.

Great post. Where's the photo of you and Levin making faces??

michelle said...

Babies are amazing! If only we could keep learning at their pace. And control our tongues.

Ande Payne said...

I love your thoughts. What a conundrum indeed.