The Effect of Literature on Children’s Development Phase: Observation & Imitation

Juli 24, 2020

Oleh: Muhammad Alif Faturrachman
(Founder Mediatikusastra) 

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        Syarhuni Junaid (2017) in his research entitled Children's Literature In Empowering Children Character Building explained the importance and the benefit of Literature for children's development. Junaid gave the readers his comprehensive views on how literature for children empowering the development of children’s characters and might affect them. Junaid  (2017) stated that literature can give the children experience about the past and the future, a clear sign that his views on children literature as a media of learning for the early stage of human life. The experiences that children could learn from the literary works that they read, might give them a slight image of the meaning of life from the value of the literature, it is indeed, a window of knowledge that might shape the character and personality of children later in their life. Literature is a tool that could deliver messages to children in fun ways for them with simple yet meaningful narration, children could able to emphasize the meaning of friendship, moral compass, respect, responsibility, empathy, and more.

        Other than that, Junaid (2017) also stated that in order to empower children to read the children's literature that is written purposely for them to read, the books itself has to be delivered in simplicity, so the children could digest the message and the story easily. Moreover, illustrations such as images play a great role in motivating children to read books. Unlike adults who do not need a lot of illustration to read, children prefer images as the motivation to intrigue them and stimulant their curiosity as well as their imagination. Therefore, it is important for children to read literary works to help them develop themselves through imagination and narration. Simplicity in narration and interesting illustration could be employed to motivate children to read and finish a book in their development phase.

        Junaid's idea of the importance of children's literature and also the importance of empowering children to read literary works through simple narration and interesting illustration indeed has a good point. In my opinion, as a former child, literature does provide a great effect on my character and personality. In my opinion, this effect solely happens because of the fact that children in their life have been through a phase that generally refers to as the Imitation phase.

        Most children spend a lot of time observing and processing information before they attempt something (Daniel and Kesler in Stiefel, n.d.). Children utilize their eye as a medium to gain pieces of information about what they should imitate, these pieces of information then processed by their mind which then results in their behavior. Children who watch a cat walks past them and meowing might imitate what the cat just has done by walking in 4 legs and saying meow using their mouth just like the cats did. However, these imitating phase does not stop in their early development phase as a child. For example, a kid who watches a show or read a comic about a superhero might think themselves as one and went on to run like a superhero wearing capes and mask. It is also applied to kids who watch a show about Disney princess might aspire to be one and went on imitating princes fashion and so on. Therefore, it is true that Imitation is vital to the development of abilities ranging from language to social skills (Nalven in Stiefel, n.d.).

        In addition to the statement above, imitation is indeed might be able to help children to learn more and easier. As there are several contexts that are important to learn by children that might be learned in the imitation phase of the children. According to Cherry (2019), there are several contexts that are important for a child to learn in their developmental stage, there are:

  • The Social Context: Relationships with fellow child and adults have an effect on how children think, learn, and develop. Families, schools, and peer groups all make up an important part of the social context.
  • The Cultural Context: The culture a child lives in contributes a set of values, customs, shared assumptions, and ways of living that influence development throughout the lifespan. Culture may play a role in how children relate to their parents, the type of education they receive and the type of childcare that is provided.
  • The Socioeconomic Context: Social class can also play a major role in child development. Socioeconomic status (often abbreviated as SES), is based upon a number of different factors including how much education people have, how much money they earn, the job they hold and where they live. Children raised in households with a high socioeconomic status tend to have greater access to opportunities, while those from households with lower socioeconomic status may have less access to such things as health care, quality nutrition, and education. Such factors can have a major impact on child psychology.

Therefore, in order to learn about these contexts in children's developmental stage, children that are going through the imitation phase might learn about social and cultural contexts to build their own character easier by reading and imitating messages and knowledge from literary works.

Moreover, as children need to learn from something by seeing or hearing to gain information and to imitate it, literature could be used to support children in their imitation phase. With literature as a medium for messages for friendship, moral compass, respect, responsibility, empathy, ethics and more as what Junaid (2017) explains in his research, it is indeed true that children could benefit more in their development stage, especially in the imitation phase by learning the information from the literary works then imitate and apply the learned information in their life that might also affect them in a positive way in their later life.

In the end, Junaid (2017) explanation of the importance of empowering children to read literature is proven as a true thing that should have been realized for a long time. It is true that with the literature that is purposely written for children to read, we could create a better generation that has a good moral compass and wide bits of knowledge of good things by imitating the positive information that might influence them in a positive way that shaped their personality and character.


Cherry, K. 2019. Child physchology and development , Retrieved from

Junaid, S. 2017. Children's literature in empowering children character building, Retrieved from

Stiefel, C. (n.d.). What your children learn by imitating you , Retrieved from




Muhammad Alif Faturrachman kerap disapa dengan panggilan “Alif”, “Alep”, “Toad” adalah seorang pemuisi amatiran serta salah satu Founder dari Mediatikusastra. Ia memiliki passion di bidang desain grafis dan komputer dengan jejak rekam petualangan sebagai lulusan “terbaik” dari SMK Negeri 1 Sungailiat, sebuah gelar yang sengaja ia klaim sepihak agar terdengar prestis. Kini, takdir membawa Alif ke jurusan Sastra Inggris di sebuah universitas negeri di Indonesia, dimana ia harus meninggalkan mimpi menjadi seorang game developer atau seorang desainer grafis dan apalah itu mimpi-mimpi yang pernah ia impikan.

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