If you are a parent you know how your child asking for the same show or movie for the hundredth time may just about drive you crazy.  You may be ready to start suggesting other shows, or movies just so you don’t have to watch the same one again.  It is almost as though as soon as your child gets done watching something they are so quick to ask for it again.  How can they watch the same movie hundreds of times with the same fascination as the first?  


Repetition Improves Memory

The thing we need to know as parents is that the infant brain learns through repetition. Think about what your child likes.  They usually want to listen, watch, or read the same things over and over.  It doesn’t just happen with movies or television shows.  It can also happen with songs and stories.  Think of how many times you have to sing the ABC song to your child, before they can sing along with you.  Repetition helps your child develop memory.  They can remember words to songs without reading lyrics because they have heard the song enough times to have the words memorized. 


Repetition Increases Understanding 

A child’s attention span and cognitive processing can’t always keep up with the movie or shows storyline the first time.  They are sure to miss something.  Rewatching allows them to catch something different.  They won’t always catch everything that happens in the story the first time.  So as they repeatedly rewatch a show they will catch new details, pick up on interactions between characters.  Picking up on these new details with rewatching will help them understand the story a little better and understand what is happening.  


Repetition Is Comforting

Repetition can also be extremely comfortable for your child.  They can anticipate what is coming in the story so no unseen events occur; they can relax while they watch the show.  Makes the world feel more predictable.  Kids can get overwhelmed easily in the chaotic world, so allowing them a movie where they can relax and know what is about to happen can give them a strong sense of security and comfort.  Your child will also like to know the characters and who is on the screen.  Adding in new people, characters, and faces can be too much.  


Repetition Builds Confidence

Rewatching shows can also help your child’s confidence.  When they know what is about to happen, who a character is, or what someone is about to say will help them notice how much they know.  If you are there watching them and they say a line a character is about to, or say a character’s name that pops on the screen, giving them some verbal encouragement can also help boost their confidence in their knowledge. It can help develop their logical thinking.  Repetition also helps children understand cause and effect relationships which is an important lesson that children need to learn. 


Repetition Increases Vocabulary

In studies of children who read the same book consistently versus children who read a variety of books, the children who were read books repeatedly had stronger vocabularies than children who had more variation.  This does not mean you are stuck reading your child the same book and watching the same movie the rest of their lives.  Allowing them to read and watch things repeatedly until they are ready to move on can help them mature and grow.  Opening your children up to many different things is important in their development as well.  So allowing your children choices is not a bad thing, but allowing them to have some repetition is important as well.  Parents who read their children the same books at bedtime say their children tend to be more relaxed and ready for bed quicker.  


Parents can get involved.  If you are sick of watching a movie, start asking your child questions.  Narrate what is happening, speak out loud events that are happening so your child is engaged in what you are seeing and what the movie is playing too.  Ask your child how it makes them feel when certain things happen.  Repetition is how the infant brain learns.  It helps them develop memory, develop logical thinking, builds vocabulary, and helps them feel comfort in knowing what is going to happen.  Remember when your child is watching a show for the hundredth time they are discovering new things and new details each time they are watching.  


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