Benefits of Storytelling to Children

If you master the art of storytelling to children, you'll see what an effective communication tool storytelling can be. Children love to hear stories; a story told well can communicate morals and important lessons, or afford a medium for your children to explore feelings.

You can use children's storytelling to accomplish the following:

  • Defuse Fears: Tell a story that deals with a fear your child is wrestling with. Is your child afraid of thunderstorms? Tell a story about a child or animal who finds a safe, cozy place to curl up during a storm. Is your child afraid of going to the dentist? Make up a story about a child who bravely goes to the dentist and finds out it really isn't all that bad. Make use of puppets, stuffed animals and prewritten stories, when possible. Sometimes children need to see someone else conquer a fear before they believe they can overcome it.
  • Explore Consequences: The art of storytelling offers a perfect way to act out the kinds of consequences that follow certain actions. You can use the characters in the story to communicate your reasons behind limits and boundaries as you show your child why you make certain decisions. Because the story is about fictional characters, your child may be able understand it (and the reasoning behind it) without becoming defensive.
  • Stimulate Your Child's Imagination: Storytelling is a great way to open up your child's imagination. Allow your child to interact with you as you tell stories, making up characters and monsters or obstacles for your characters to face. After a while, you may find yourself listening to a story your child invented instead of telling one yourself!
  • Convey Moral Expectations: Most fairy tales and nursery rhymes have morals woven into them. Use traditional fairytales, modern children's books and your own imagination to convey your morals to your children. Are you concerned that your child is being selfish or unkind to a new neighbor? Tell a story that praises kindness, generosity and inclusiveness. Is your child unwilling to pitch in with chores or helping around the house?  A story like The Little Red Hen will help set a good example.
  • Have Fun: Storytelling is bonding. Your child will always remember the hours you spent talking in silly voices, making up ridiculous characters and laughing about the stories you told. Embrace this vehicle for parent-child bonding and have a great time.
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