Welcome back to Nani's Tips from Sadora Baby. Storytelling is one of my favourite activities to do with my grandchildren.
Storytelling is an art and the art can be developed. Storytelling is the process of using fact and narrative to communicate something to your audience. Some stories are factual, and some are embellished or improvised in order to better explain the core message.
As parents and grandparents, we’ve all told stories to our kids. Whether it be fairy tales, children’s stories, or stories about our own lives, we’ve all told our kids stories. But do we really understand the power of storytelling and how we can use it to overcome our daily parenting struggles? As it turns out though, storytelling has the power to change our lives – whether you tell stories or the ones who hear them do.
Stories have always played an important part in storytelling, and every culture is encrusted with these ancient.
Stories have been used as a form of entertainment throughout the ages, for adults, as well as children. As adults we all enjoy sitting down with a story or novel and getting lost in it. Like us, children also get entertained by what the characters do, their struggles and successes along the way, and even the way they overcome their challenges. For all, stories are important. They help us understand ourselves, who we are and where we come from. They reveal the background details that flesh out our personalities, allowing us to paint a true picture of who we are as individuals.
Parents don't have to invent stories on the spot. Personal stories, particularly from our childhood or from books we’ve read, are good starters. Children also love to hear stories that describe them and experiences they've had. For example, you can tell a story about the trip you and your child had to the zoo or to their Nani or Dadi's house. Pre-schoolers and toddlers enjoy stories about characters from their favourite books.
You can start telling stories to your baby in the womb. Research shows that babies who have been spoken to while in the womb develop better speaking skills and learn to respond to voices earlier than other babies. Stories impact human beings in a very real way. They give us a unique perspective on life and allow us to think about events differently. Stories allow us to step into another person’s shoes and experience what they are going through, which is why they can be used so effectively in helping with our parenting struggles.
Stories are a powerful tool that we as parents and grandparents use to communicate with our children, whether they be fact or fiction. Their conversation skills get a magical boost as children ask questions, they discuss the story, they share their thoughts about fascinating characters. Listening to stories ignites their imagination and helps build their vocabulary. We sometimes narrate to our little children incidents as stories to help explain why things happen and to teach life lessons.
We’ve all experienced how the listening ears of a prying child can look for clues in our words for what’s real versus what isn’t. Over the years I’ve found ways to enhance my storytelling abilities. I think about how I could have told the same story better, and now I hope to share some of those tips with you!
Related Research: The Power of Stories in Parenting