Repetition and Little Kids

“If you think about the world of a preschooler, they are surrounded by stuff they don’t understand– things that are novel. so the driving force for a preschooler is not a search for understanding and predictability,” says Anderson. “For younger kids, repetition is really valuable. They demand it. When they see a show over and over again, they not only are understanding it better, which is a form of power, but just by predicting what is going to happen, I think they feel a real sense of affirmation and self-worth. and Blue’s Clues doubles that feeling, because they also feel like they are participating in something. They feel like they are helping Steve.”

Fascinating stuff. I always thought Sesame Street was too quick, too sectional. My husband, on the other hand, adored it. And my kids liked it. But my kids preferred Barney. And, you know what, despite all the hate of the purple dinosaur, I did too. Sesame Street was written, I said and it turns out it is true, for adults. Barney was not. It was written just for children. And that is why I liked it. I expect that is why the kids loved it and the adults, in general, hated it.

This quote is from The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell. It was first published in 2000, but is apparently being read by different sections of the blogosphere than I read. My husband recommended it to me.