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What motivates children to start walking?

What motivates children to start walking?



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Crawling is a way we first learn to translocate but , in all our lives, there comes a point where naturally try standing up and try to walk… but why? What really pushes us over the edge to start walking?

When we first start walking, usually we fail many times but still we have this natural motivation learn walking despite the failure. Is this some sort 'intuitive' intelligence which babies have? To be more specific I can't imagine a baby to consider the pros and cons of walking vs crawling and then logically argue to himself/herself that learning how to walk would be something worthwhile to spend his mental resources on.


Reference video


You might be interested in Alison Gopnik's book "The Gardener and the Carpenter", where she gives thoughts on how children develop and learn. Children are very disinhibited in their behavior, and this is generally considered to be a consequence of their prefrontal cortex being immature, but she proposes that this is not a bug but a feature. That there is a tradeoff in any algorithm between "exploiting" the possibility space (incrementally improving your solution until it's as good as it can be) and "exploring" the possibility space (casting a wide net to find totally different solutions that might be even better). If you just "exploit" you are liable to stay stuck in local maxima; if you just "explore" you're never going to find a good solution because your search is too random and the possibility space is too large to examine every possibility. Good optimizing algorithms have alternations between the phases, with "explore" phases to look at many different areas of the possibility spaces, and "exploit" phases to optimize the most promising candidates. Gopnik's argument is that children are the "explore" phase of human development, and that is why they are disinhibited: they are motivated to try many different things for the sake of it, with no specific objective in mind or much thought to the consequences. (and in this view, an important job of parents is to make sure the consequences won't be fatal).

This might answer some of your question of babies thinking about "pros and cons". It might be more realistic to see them as thinking only in terms of "pros". Not, "if I do this this will be the consequences, if I do that those will be the consequences, what should I do given the consequences I want", but "what happens if I try this? And that? And that? And that? And that?"

Another factor that wasn't mentioned in the comments is imitation; children like to imitate others around them and odds are they see adults walking all the time.

In terms of walking though I'd expect instinct to play the major role. Not that walking would be hardwired per se, but there are probably movements and reflexes that babies are hardwired to try, and once they get to a physical maturity where walking is possible the odds are that they will try those movements, and find the results interesting at least, profitable at best.


To understand why we must first understand how.

Standing. Standing is crucial to being able to walk, that is, developing the strength to stand on one's feet[1]. Usually, this starts with supported standing by a parent or an object. This builds coordination, flexibility, and further curiosity for the tiny human to keep moving around in the way that they can, most efficiently (which is walking as opposed to crawling).

Now we can attempt to hypothesize why.

As others have said, efficiency is huge. It takes less energy to walk than to crawl 10 feet, once the ability is there. Many might say that it is similar to making the decision to walking 10 miles or learning how to bike so that you can bike 10 miles. Clearly, biking is a more efficient mode of transportation. Getting from one place to another is a very integral part of human development and ability. Efficiency, paired with the curiosity that seems very integral in a baby's psychology, leads to the baby wanting to travel from place to place and see and touch and eat everything it can.

Is it evolutionarily beneficial for babies to move around a lot, efficiently? I think the answer is yes. In order to prove this, let's assume the answer is no. If no, then humans as a whole would just be content not getting around efficiently and have indifference toward them using as much energy as possible during the action. This is clearly inhuman and not self-preserving, and obviously a contradiction. Thus, it must be evolutionarily beneficial for babies to move around a lot. Furthermore, the movement and curiosity may lead to increased exposure to the elements and foreign biological organisms, giving the kids the chance to develop their immune system, like we all know is so crucial at that age. There is probably more examples to help this argument, but this example proves the point and concept. Moving efficiently is evolutionarily beneficial.

A more sociological question would be, would babies try to walk if no one else did? Is it nature or nurture? If we all in society crawled, would the baby too? Mirroring might play a very powerful role here. Testing this would be very interesting, but it would likely violate the Belmont agreement.

  1. Standing. https://www.parentingscience.com/when-do-babies-start-walking.html

Great Ideas for Motivating Students to Cooperate, Compete, and Achieve

It has to start the very first minute of the very first day in each of your classes. You have to be able to create a classroom environment in which students perceive that they are valued as individuals. 

They also have to know the importance of the journey that they are about to embark upon with you. 

Students have to know, right away, that you are in charge and that you are knowledgeable about your subject area. They have to know that you have high expectations of them. 

Students must realize that you are in the business of success and that you are there for them to ensure that they are successful. 

On that very first day, every student in every class MUST have an opportunity to be successful. They must leave your classroom with a sense of having accomplished something. 

For more details about this topic, please see  The First Day of School . 


You baby can learn to walk if you make him play fun games and involve him in interesting activities. You may play a chasing game in which you crawl to chase your crawling baby. In this way, he will learn to crawl faster and learn to better control his hands and legs.

Doctors say that a baby&rsquos ambition to walk and reach for things contributes a lot to his walking skills. You can place some of your baby&rsquos favorite toys on a path and make him see them. You would have to support him on the way to make sure that your baby&rsquos interest in the catching game remains alive.


4. Learn What Makes Your Child Tick

  • What motivates my child?
  • What does he really want?
  • What questions can I ask that will help him discover and explore his interests?
  • What are his goals and ambitions?

Step far enough away to see your child as a separate person. Then observe what you see. Talk to him to find the answers to the questions above. And then listen—not to what you want the answers to be, but to what your child is saying. Just listen to him. Respect his answers, even if you disagree.


Eight Ways to Encourage Self-Motivation in Your Child

Self-motivation is a trait that is often underrated. It’s more than just getting out of bed in the morning it can have a huge impact on how well your child does in school. Children are naturally motivated to learn until they’re about 7 years old. After this time, they’ll need the ability to motivate themselves, a vital skill if they are to succeed. It’s true that self-motivation can only come from within, but there are ways you can help your child nurture it, giving them an advantage that will pay off in later life. Here are eight ways you can help.

Encourage Optimism

Focusing on solutions to problems rather than dwelling on setbacks, combined with having a positive outlook on life. This will encourage your child to adopt the same approach.

Encourage Persistence

Reward effort rather than just success. You will help your child to develop the resilience they’ll need to face failure and to keep trying until they do succeed.

Deal With Failure

Teach your child to accept that sometimes they will fail. Showing them how to lose or win gracefully, will give them the ability to deal with, and move on from, setbacks later in life.

Encourage Interests

Children who have a range of interests will be exposed to different opportunities. Combined with a good work-life balance, this will make the less-interesting tasks they face less demoralizing and easier to face.

Celebrate Achievement

Knowing how to celebrate and enjoy success, both their own and others’, will give your child something positive to aim for.

Make Success Possible

Give your child the opportunity to be successful and experience the positive emotions that go with it. Supporting and guiding them will help build the self-esteem that is vital to self-motivation.

Foster Their Interests

Encouraging a child to learn about things that interest them will allow them to better understand the concepts they learn at school, especially if you’re creative about the way you link their interest to learning. Pacing out the length of their favorite dinosaur or measuring ingredients for baking will help them understand size or volume without it feeling like another math lesson.

Adapt to Their Learning Style

Some children will sit and listen to new information. Others want to pick things up and use them straight away. Adapting to their preferred way of learning will keep learning fun and not a chore.

Parents want to help improve their child’s chance of success at school, and later, as adults. By starting early and encouraging your child in the right way, you can help them develop a trait that will be useful to them for the rest of their lives.


Teaching your baby to walk will be much easier when you know you live in a safe home. Think about how stressful it must be when teaching a baby how to walk if you still don't have locks on cabinets or padding on the edges of table corners. You'll feel much more comfortable with your baby trying to walk and exercise if you baby-proofed the entirety of the home. Be more safe than sorry and make that house baby friendly so your baby can spread their wings safely!

Via: Pixabay, Explore_More_UK

I think one of the most adorable things to see is a baby listening to their first song. Seeing their eyes light up and their little arms move is too adorable for words. They're trying to figure out how to move to those fun beats! And as it turns out, playing music may help them walk quicker, too.


5. Children with Asperger’s Syndrome aren’t normal

Sometimes when people hear that a child has Asperger’s their first response will be something along the lines of: “But you look so normal.” This is hurtful and ignorant because there is nothing abnormal or atypical about a child with Asperger’s. These kids may struggle interacting and have other sensory processing issues, but in many ways are just like any other child. They just need someone to show them the way, and help them fit in.

Why is this so damaging?

The idea that children with Asperger’s are not normal is very damaging. It’s perhaps one of the biggest misconceptions about the disorder. It can result in these special children being excluded and treated differently, when all they need is to be shown love.

Do you or someone you know have children with Asperger’s Syndrome? What’s the one thing you wish people knew about your special child? Share your thoughts in the comments below and help us challenge the stereotypes.


Activities to help your child learn to stand and walk


Hold him in a standing position on your lap. Bounce him up and down a little so he gets used to feeling where his feet are. Also move him gently from side to side so he learns to shift his weight.


Sit on the ground with your legs apart. Encourage your child to hold onto your body and pull himself into a kneeling position, and then to stand up.


To help your child lower himself from a standing position to a sitting position, support his bottom as he lowers himself to the floor.

To help your child learn to walk

Encourage your child to walk back and forth, holding onto a piece of furniture. This will also help him learn where different things are in the house.

When his balance is better, hold one of his hands and walk with him.

Let him start walking alone by pushing a simple walker, chair, or box. Put some weight in the box or chair so he has to push harder and so it does not move too fast.

Once your child is walking, be sure to think about possible dangers in your home and the area around it, and how to make walking safer.

To help your child learn to walk up and down stairs

To help your child walk up stairs, encourage him to stand up and hold onto the rail and move one step at a time. Later, teach him how to go down the stairs too.

To help your child use his arms for guidance

As your child gets older, he can learn to use his arms to guide and protect himself while walking.

At home, he can use the back of his hand to follow a wall, the edge of a table, or other objects.


In other places he can hold one hand in front of his face, with his palm facing away from his body. This hand protects his face and head. He should hold his other hand about waist high, to protect the rest of his body.


When he falls, teach him to protect himself by putting out his hands and bending his knees as he falls. This will keep him from hurting his head.

Accidents will happen just as they do to children who can see. But it is important to let your child do things for himself, to learn to be independent.

To help your child learn to use a stick (cane)

A child can start learning to use a stick whenever he seems ready, usually when he is 3 or 4 years old. Using a stick can help a child feel more comfortable when walking in new places.

With practice, it can also help him walk faster, with long, sure steps. This is because he can feel further ahead with a stick than with his hands or feet.


Your child can also use a stick to help him go up and down stairs and curbs:


Pulling Up

Crawling gives your baby an exciting new perspective on the world, but because he sees all the adults around him walking, that&aposs what he wants to do too. First, he will likely use his stronger arm muscles to pull himself to a standing position, taking advantage of whatever&aposs handy -- the couch, the coffee table, or your leg -- to do so. Remember, though, that he may not have figured out how to get back down from this new position! If he cries for your help, go over to him and physically show him how to bend his knees and sit down without falling.


A Word From Verywell

Understanding motivation is important in many areas of life, from parenting to the workplace. You may want to set the best goals and establish the right reward systems to motivate others as well as to increase your own motivation.

Knowledge of motivating factors and manipulating them is used in marketing and other aspects of industrial psychology. It's an area where there are many myths and everyone can benefit from knowing what works and what doesn't.