Tell me a Story
Becoming an intentional storyteller will help you coach your children to live a joyful life, pass your values and beliefs, and help them create their own identity. Storytelling also gives your children a sense of honor as well as a sense of belonging to something very special; your family. It is important to help your children learn to tell their own story and use their imagination and creative abilities. These questions will help you begin to encourage them to take their thoughts and put them into stories.
What is a story about something you did that made you proud?
Tell them that it made you proud as well. Listen to the story as they tell it without interruption to clarify facts. You may not remember the event the same way they do. The important part is they remember a proud moment. You can help them elaborate and become more vivid in their descriptions. Ask them if they have shared the story with anyone else or if they would like to do so.
What story about our family describes us the best?
You may be surprised on what stories they have picked up along the way. Encourage them to tell you why the particular story gives the best description of your family. If their story portrays certain values or mentions unique traditions of your family, ask him or her to share whether they are proud of those values and traditions. Do not judge their response but consider it for a few days before responding. How your child views your family is important. Their perception is their reality. If you want them to continue to share do not be too hasty in your correction.
What story have you heard that you would call fiction or make believe?
Help your children understand the difference from truth and fiction. Tell them that many books and movies are fictional, or not based on truth, and it took imagination to tell them. Imagination is a good thing but it is equally important to understand that just because something is written in a book or seen in a movie it is not necessarily true or reality.
One day while my older brother was telling a story about me that I had heard several times, I noticed our 7 year old son, Nathan, down the hallway playing with his toys. As my brother finished the punch line of the story Nathan began to laugh. I realized that he hung on every word of the story about his dad. Become a story telling family and teach them about who you are while teaching them the importance of telling their own stories.