Tell me a story

publication date: Feb 3, 2014
author/source: Anne Coates

Storytelling with Children by Nancy MellonStorytelling is part of almost every culture but, as with many talents and skills, our confidence seems to dissipate with age. Listen to children telling stories and you'll see what I mean. They don't judge their storytelling skills and assume they can do it. And they love it when parents, family and carers make up stories for them. It's a great way to talk about problems, your family history, faith and love.

In Storytelling with Children published by Hawthorn Press, writer, therapist and educatior Nancy Mellon gives some useful guidelines for adults:

  1. Each story told for your family inspires the next.
  2. Silence deepens the power of listening.
  3. Accept that sometimes you may experience reticence and modesty, and a desire that others do the storytelling for you.
  4. When you write a schedule for storytelling and keep to it, even when upset, tired or baffled by circumstances, you will reap many benefits.
  5. Anger, impatience, and self-effacement can be transformed by a good story.
  6. Telling yourself, “Normal busy parents haven’t time for this” thwarts your innate ability to offer children what they need.
  7. Your lack of experience and sense of inadequacy, or any other distractions can be usefully developed into story characters.
  8. Enjoy how good it feels to overcome a reluctance to tell stories and notice how your creativity engages the children.
  9. Remember what your commitment to storytelling can bring: regular focused time with your children without distractions; pleasure at looking forward to the next story time which is already scheduled into your day and week; the sense of growing closeness in your family; the knitting of old bonds and new; growing interest and respect for other families; growing creativity of your children, reflecting your own; and closer relationships and creative resources for times of trouble and discouragement.
  10. The only way to become the storyteller you are is to practice this art. Your heartfelt storytelling activities will promote health, happiness and love. If you are convinced of this, you will achieve your goals.

PWT rating: ♥♥♥♥

Storytelling with Children is available from Amazon.