I am advocating that all parents tell their children stories. Not just any stories – but your stories.
Whether made up or from our own lives, children need to hear our voices and our stories.
Storytelling is an expression of love, and there is no better way to impart your values or teach your children where they came from. Although I love books, I don’t think that reading from a book can capture a child’s imagination like when they hear something made up just for them. They know it’s special, and they want to listen. If you’re having trouble getting your child to enjoy books, try asking, “Can I tell you a story?” If you love reading books together, try asking, “Can I tell you a story?” It will be the icing on the cake.
But you think it’s too much trouble, and you aren’t creative enough, right? You’re wrong. If you tell a story with love, it will be a story that your kids want to hear. As you tell more stories, you’ll get better at it. I promise.
When my eldest son was a little younger, I told him a story every night. This lasted for three or four years, and while he’s kind of outgrown wanting to hear my stories, I cherish those years I was able to sit back and dig into my creative well and pull out a story. It was relaxing, and I felt I was connecting to my son more than when I read aloud from a book.
My younger son heard a story by his father for many years too. After about two years, I think my husband finally wearied of telling about Dig Dig the Dinosaur and his many adventures! But he wins an award in my book for telling about the same character for that long!
If you homeschool, you’ll be happy to know that storytelling is part of your child’s language arts requirement. Whether you homeschool or not, you’ll be adding value to your child’s life, fostering their creativity, igniting their love of language, and helping them begin to write their own story.
I have been told no adult forgets the person who told them stories as a child. I don’t know if this is true, but I hope it will be.
All you have to do is begin “Once Upon A Time….” and think about what is important to your child that day. But if you need a little more help, here are some posts I wrote while telling my stories, and a little more too:
Why Tell Stories?
How To Tell Stories To Your Children
Inspiration: Examples of Stories with Storytelling Tips
Wisdom from Storyteller Winston Stephens – includes venues for adult storytelling around Athens, Georgia.
National Storytelling Festival – Every October in Jonesborough, TN
Southern Order of Storytellers – based in Atlanta, Georgia and encouraging “clusters” or storytelling groups to start throughout Georgia.
Rabbit Box – Fostering the art of storytelling in Athens, Georgia. We provide a forum for people to share true stories from their lives. (Adult storytelling)
Bill Harley – This storyteller had my sons in stitches with his tape “Dinosaurs Don’t Say Please and Other Stories.” Just wanted to give him a shout-out for all my story loving friends.
…And if I can think of anything else that will help inspire you to tell stories to your children, you can bet I’ll add it here!