Why does a child constantly ask to read the same fairy tale

In our section «Ask an expert a question», reader Galina  asks:

«We had a 3-year-old granddaughter staying with us for two weeks, and we read books with her before going to bed. But here’s the bad luck — every time it was necessary to start with «Three piglets». Listen to a fairy tale, then you can do something else. True, the queue often did not reach other books, but the «Piglets» were read ten times, probably. I tried to persuade her to other books, she didn’t believe in any. I don’t know why she liked the «Three Little Pigs» so much…»

Every parent tells his little son or daughter the phrase: «Let’s read something else?». But the child insistently asks to tell his favorite fairy tale. Let’s figure out why this is happening and why the child needs it?

Remembers something new
Young children are always on the verge of discovery, because most of the things in the world around them are unknown and incomprehensible to them. In order to learn and remember something new, the child uses the repetition method as the simplest and most understandable for him.

That is why, when a child has learned to jump on one leg or has learned a new word, he will repeat what he has learned many times in order to better remember. Repetition gives the child a sense of confidence and stability.

The same thing happens with the book. If a child asks to read a fairy tale over and over again, it means that the literary work has found a response in his soul, and the content is completely clear to him and resonated with the inner state of the baby.

Feels confident and calm
Knowledge of the main points of the plot forms the child’s confidence in a positive ending. The child feels calm from the fact that the hero of the work, who has passed through the trials, will eventually be fine. He transfers this experience to his life, therefore, many children are optimistic about their failures and continue their planned affairs.

Learning to fantasize
When a kid listens to a fairy tale, he plunges into the world of his own fantasies and emotions. With each reading, new details of the world he invented are completed in his imagination. The child knows the plot well and this helps him to form an image of the future action, focusing on space and time.

Re-reading the fairy tale helps to improve the emotions of the child. This is necessary for the development of the nervous system — to realize and accept your feelings and not be afraid to show them in other life situations.

What other skills are developed by repeated reading
Vocabulary increases — listening to a fairy tale, the child involuntarily remembers new words and phrases. This happens without any effort on his part, which means it causes more positive emotions than the process of memorization.

Memory develops — the child remembers new words, begins to build the plot of a fairy tale, retells it, and then memorizes the entire text by heart. Therefore, children correct their parents when they miss a word in the process of reading or try to shorten the plot a little.

Analytical thinking is formed — an adult, reading the text, can make small pauses to discuss the actions of the main character with the child. Thanks to this, the baby develops an understanding of cause-and-effect relationships. This is how the ability to think and analyze develops.

Attention is concentrated — listening to a familiar text, the child learns to concentrate his attention not on the main plot of the work, but on its details, noticing something new each time.

Why does a child constantly ask to read the same fairy tale

A contact is formed between an adult and a child, the feeling of anxiety decreases — discussing the fairy tale read, the kid can tell the parent what he cares about in the actions of the characters. A confidential conversation helps to make a trusting relationship. If now mom or dad will help without condemnation to understand the incomprehensible moments for the child, then in the future he will not hesitate to ask for help.

A research interest is formed — the child compares the characters and objects from the fairy tale with the real world in an interesting way for him. He repeats the simple actions of fairy—tale heroes: jumping over a stream, climbing a mountain of sand, instead of a real one – all this contributes to the study of the world and their own capabilities.

Creative skills are developing — the child often comes up with a continuation of the plot. This can be used as a method for developing creative thinking and imagination. For example, if you ask a child 4-6 years old to come up with and tell (draw) the ending of a fairy tale, he will gladly respond to the offer and tell his fantasies.

How to respond to requests to read your favorite fairy tale again?
Treat this with understanding. Remember that by reading a fairy tale once again, you help the child develop.

A fairy tale is a scenario of adult life
Everyday stories, the behavior of characters for the emerging child’s psyche look like instructions for adult life. Not only real events that the child himself observes, but also invented and described in books. It is fairy tales that create a child’s worldview.

Psychologists have long noticed that a person often repeats the scenarios of his favorite fairy tales and the fate of his favorite characters. Therefore, if a child asks to reread the same fairy tale, it means that the plot and the character have already «sunk in» to him, he is already «writing» his life plan.

In some cases, it may be necessary to consult a psychotherapist in order to view the selected scenario in advance and correct it. This is the basis of the method of psychotherapeutic correction — fairy tale therapy. It is used to work with children under the age of 10-12 years.

Reading your favorite book is a ritual
Constant listening to the same fairy tale becomes a ritual for the baby, giving a sense of calm and stability of this world, which is very important for the development of the child’s psyche. Adults also have such a habit: for example, every year on the eve of New Year’s Eve we watch our favorite movies, and this has already become a tradition, a kind of ritual.

If a child is from one and a half to three years old, his requests to tell the same fairy tales should not cause concern to parents.

Obsession with anything for children over 3 years old should be alarming. It may be necessary to consult a specialist in order to analyze the child’s behavior, identify the true causes of obsession and correct it in a timely manner.

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