This question has the same background as Getting stuck on the wrong answer, but I thought it merited a separate question. Our four year-old daughter quite frequently knows the answer, or could know if she paid better attention, but because of the way her siblings respond, she either thinks their response is normal or more fun, which causes her to not get as much out of the exercise as she could. How can we help her be her own person and work to her potential instead of copying her siblings' abnormal behavior?

  • Ask her first - every time. Feb 26, 2014 at 22:03
  • Well, except she remembers his behavior from yesterday. Feb 26, 2014 at 22:23
  • Maybe over-time she'd try a different tact? Especially if, on the days she does answer correctly you made a really big deal out of it! "Wow, you must have really been paying attention! What a smart and good decision! Learning feels so good to me. Does it to you? I'm so proud of your choices. . . " Feb 27, 2014 at 13:06

1 Answer 1


Why do you ask all of them the same question at the same time? That seems to naturally lead to a copying situation. If quizzing them is an important part of your teaching technique, I would suggest asking 3 different questions on the same video so that each child answers independently. Alternatively, ask a simple factual did-you-see-what-happened question to one child, and a more elaborate question to the next: why? what might come next? what else could it be? Encourage them to cue or tip each other, too, so if someone can't remember what colour something was, the others can give clues or otherwise be helpful. If it's a co-operative effort, there's less pressure to be "better than" or "as good at it" compared to the siblings.

  • I repeat the question to see if they were at least paying good enough attention to copy each other, which I consider to be a minimum standard of attention. On the days they can handle that, I move on to independent questions. Feb 26, 2014 at 18:16

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