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Why Do Children Watch the Same Video or TV Show Over and Over?

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Routine and Predictability

Children are inclined toward routines that make them feel safe and that they can understand. Watching the same thing over and over provides them with this predictability and routine.

Learning Process

Children can learn new concepts and words by repeatedly watching the same thing. With each viewing, they may pick up on different details and deepen their understanding.

Sense of Control

For children, watching something over and over can serve as a sort of control mechanism. Living in a world controlled largely by adults, children may feel more in control by repeatedly viewing the same content.

Pleasure and Entertainment

Simply put, children may enjoy experiencing things they like over and over, just as an adult may enjoy listening to a favorite song multiple times.

Emotional Connection

Children may form an emotional attachment to the characters or stories they watch. This attachment can motivate them to watch the same content repeatedly.

Simplicity and Meaning

A child’s brain may not be fully developed enough to understand complex stories and themes, so they might prefer to watch simpler, more understandable stories multiple times.

Social Factors

If a piece of content or character is popular, children may watch it multiple times to also participate in this popularity within a social context.

Connection Between Sense of Control and Repeatedly Watching a Video or Program

Children, being in the growing phase and trying to understand their surroundings, usually don't have a lot of control in the adult world. For instance, when they eat, sleep, or go somewhere is often determined by their parents or caregivers. In such an environment, finding something they can control can be comforting.
This is where the habit of "re-watching" comes into play. Watching a video or TV show multiple times provides children with a certain predictability and, therefore, a sense of control. They know what will happen, what each character will do, and how the story will end. This knowledge provides them with a feeling of control in a world where many things are determined externally. Repeatedly watching the same content gives them this sense of control, and hence, they may gravitate toward such content.
This creates consistency and stability in the child’s world, which are generally crucial factors for healthy development. So, if a child is watching something repeatedly, it could mean that they are fulfilling a need for control in some way.
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