It's easy to get frustrated when your child selects the same book for their bedtime story night after night. After all, many parents have a home library full of fun children's books and stories for their child to choose from and sometimes it gets boring reading the same old story over and repeatedly. While it may get repetitive, parents can rest easy knowing that reading the same book to their child night after night isn't just comforting to the child, but it's also making them smarter.
We know that by reading to children parents aren't only experiencing a wonderful bonding moment with their child, they're also helping them expand their vocabulary and increase their language skills. Research is now showing that by reading the same book to your child over and over also provides them with a greater ability to comprehend the subject matter. When a book is read to a child only once, they may not fully understand the story they are reading along with, but by reading it multiple times, children are more able to absorb and comprehend the full story.
Reading the same story over and over also helps young children recognize certain words in the book, which helps them with their reading comprehension as they get older. By consistently seeing and hearing the same words read to them nightly they begin to put together words on the page and the sounds they make. The repetition also helps them when it comes to learning to speak and expanding their vocabulary. Hearing the same story over and over simply helps to facilitate learning.
In research published on Frontiers Media, it was found that children as young as 1 year old "could learn up to five of eight target words in a 12-week training study" when picture books and additional other learning materials like picture cards were used in repetition. Studies have also shown that while repetitive reading helps your child learn more, so does interactive reading. Children are said to learn more when they are asked questions during reading time, such as when a parent may ask them about the story, or a character involved. They also learn more when the parent or child points out certain references in the book or explains a new word they may not have heard before.
While it may be frustrating to constantly hear your child request the same bedtime book repeatedly, especially when there is a stack of other books available, by indulging in their wish to hear the same bedtime story night after night parents aren't only making them happier but smarter as well!