Parents start out all gleeful whenever their child says a new word or learns to clap their hands. It is a very joyful experience because it reminds you of how far you have come and gives you the strength to keep at it. Then the baby becomes a toddler and they learn the words ‘more’ and ‘again’ and things change from there on out.
You are sure to find an exasperated parent whenever you walk into a home with a toddler because of all the application of ‘more’ and ‘again’. You teach your child ‘Old Macdonald’ and you feel like the greatest parent that ever walked the earth. You buy a new storybook and your toddler squeals with joy and you purpose to read it to them sometime. Day one goes well and you feel very good about your parenting. Day two leaves you feeling accomplished. Day three leaves you feeling okay. Day four is just going through the motions. Day five you don’t want to open your mouth and day six you ask your toddler if you can read something else. You hide the book on day seven just so you can get a break (relax, nobody is judging you).
Toddlers have a knack for repeating things over and over again and many times it gets very annoying for the adults around them. Many parents just zone out at some point because Old Macdonald’s farm could not have been that big. It really couldn’t have. Some parents ask their children to stop (and it is quite understandable). The best thing to do, however, would be to sit through as much as possible and with good reasons.
They are learning
Before toddlerhood your child didn’t know much. They have recently begun to understand and experience new things and being exposed to them more and more provides the perfect opportunity to grasp them. Constant repetition helps a toddler understand a concept better. It also improves their language skills and helps them learn new words faster. A small study found that toddlers who read the same story about three times learnt and remembered more words than those who read three different stories once each.
After a few reading sessions you will notice that your toddler knows the wording to the story and may even correct you when you read it differently. This allows him to pay attention to the story and remind himself what he already knows. Knowing that he knows and being reminded that he knows when he gets the story right is very exciting for your toddler.
It is a source of reassurance
Toddlers may be learning new things that are beneficial to them but it can sometimes get a little overwhelming. At this point they need security and comfort and routine affords them that. Repetition therefore reminds them that even with all the changes and new things going on, there are still some things that remain the same. He knows how the story ends and that makes him less nervous about life.
So you see why you should give your attention to your repetitive toddler. You can make it interesting for both of you by reading the stories with different voices and bringing the stories to life. Ask them to join in too. You can even create your own short rhymes and stories.
Make the best of this age because they will outgrow it soon. Time seems to stop when they begin asking questions and asking for more but before you realize it they are getting ready for pre-school. Give them all you can when you still can so they can stay on track with all their milestones. You can always stop them if it gets too much because balance is also an important part of their learning.