At this stage, a tremendous amount of learning happens through the process of watching and imitating others; this is called observation learning. Observational learning is sometimes also referred to as shaping, modelling and vicarious reinforcement. While it can take place at any point in life, it tends to be the most common during childhood.
What you need to know
Your little one now learns from the authority figures and peers in his life. It also plays an important role in the socialization process, as your child learns how to behave and respond to others by observing how you, as parents and family members, interact with each other and with other people.
Observational learning can be a powerful learning tool, when you think about the concept of learning, you often talk about direct instructions or methods that rely on reinforcement or punishment. But a great deal of learning of your little one takes place much more subtly and relies on watching the people around them and modelling their actions. Your little one learns through you, he is watching you 24x7, retaining the information and then later replicating the behaviour that was observed.
So indirectly it all comes on you, as a parent you need to choose correct words, justified actions, perfect judgement towards others not just with your family members but with everyone. Your child is like clay at this stage, you can mold him however you want to. Your child watches you wave and he catches that, he watches you do the daily household chores and he does the same. Also, when he watches another boy in the playground get in trouble for hitting someone, he learns from observing this interaction that he should not hit others.
Observational learning is often linked to negative or undesirable behaviours, but it can also be used to inspire much more positive behaviours.