Did you love listening to stories from your mom, dad, siblings and others? Now, you can be on the other side and influence a young one’s life positively. Story telling has many advantages including the following.
Even before my child could recognize alphabets, I sat down with her with books that contained large images and print. I narrated or read from them as I watched her eyes widen with excitement. I enjoyed her togetherness and touch as much as she did mine. Story telling is a great opportunity to nurture the bond with our kids. The quality time we spend with them contributes towards their self-confidence and mental growth.
Story Telling Apps and TV
There are several story telling apps, podcasts and numerous stories on the TV, and good ones at that. But this is one of the places where I favor the good old fashioned technique over technology. Tell those stories to your kids, yourself. Don’t let them miss out on the warmth of a loving parent.
With my little one, I noticed that telling her stories has helped improve her attention span and patience. Story telling is one way we can really make our little ones sit down and focus for incrementally longer periods.
Stories give us a great way to illustrate and instill morals in our kids. But just watch out what a story is implying before you proceed. If you tell the stories yourself or read from a book, you can control the narrative and avoid things that you don’t want to expose your kids to, yet.
Curiosity and Creativity
Stories are a great way to fuel curiosity and nurture creativity. Stories open up a child’s imagination. They provide indirect experiences also.
Language and Reading Skills
Story telling is a great way to improve kids’ language skills. As you read from a book, they develop an interest in reading and books. And as you read, they will start recognizing alphabets first and words next. This is a great way to develop their reading skills, knowledge and comprehension. Story books are the best means to instill book reading habit while keeping them away from addiction to mobile phones and other electronic devices.
Stories are not just for morals and imagination. They could also develop strategy in approaching life and life challenges. But keep in mind the age-appropriateness of a story.
Important factors to consider in story telling
Stories are great. However, watch out for the appropriateness of the story content to your child’s age, sensitivity, mental maturity and the values you want to instill in your child. Here are somethings you should consider.
Keep it Age Appropriate
We’ve all loved Panchathanthra stories, Aesop fables, Birbal comics and more. But talking about a man shooting at a pigeon may not be healthy for your 2-3 year old. Read the content to yourself first and then deliver what is suitable for your child.
As parents, we should aim at inculcating positivity in them. Positivity is good for your child’s health and great for society at large. Pick stories that have a positive vibe and happiness.
Gender and Race Equality
Are you reading a lot of stories that have stereotypical characters such as Male astronauts and female witches? Have you noticed that many fairy tales are about damsels in distress, only to be saved by male heroes? Is the doctor image mostly a male one while a nurse is a female? Think about what messages these are sending to your kids subconsciously. Pick books that align with gender equality and race equality.
As I look at the stories which are recommended for kids, I find a lot of hostility and cunning in them. Do we really want our children to imbibe that negativity? Select the right stories or remove hostility from your narrative. I’ll make an attempt to share some modified stories that I told my nieces and child.
Have you noticed that ‘trust’ is deteriorating in our society? Do you see many people assuming that others are trying to outsmart them most of the times? Wouldn’t it be nice to start from a place of trust always than doubt and fear? I think the type of stories and lessons we give our young children have a profound effect on their thinking. A story could develop trust or skepticism; animosity or empathy; love or hatred. You decide what stories you want your kids to be exposed to during their formative years.
You can select the right stories. You can also tweak the age-old favorites to conform to your values.