Storytelling has been a very important traditional practice in our society for years. Almost every one of the millennials has heard stories from our parents/ grandparents.

One of the main reasons why storytelling has been one of the key reasons to develop emotional skills in children is it ensures almost complete absorption when they hear it.

Even I remember many of the stories from my parents/ grandparents when I was in my childhood.

Parenting can be superfun and engaging when we engage our child with storytelling.

So, let’s explore top 5 storytelling ideas from which we can engage kids.

1. Read a storybook aloud to develop literacy skills :

Reading a storybook aloud to your child (3 to 8 Years) is a very effective way as it strengthens the emotional bond between parent and child.

Researches also suggest the same:

Reading aloud is the foundation for literacy development. It is the single most important activity for reading success

(Bredekamp, Copple, & Neuman, 2000).

It provides children with a demonstration of phrased, fluent reading (Fountas & Pinnell, 1996).

It reveals the rewards of reading and develops the listener’s interest in books and the desire to be a reader (Mooney, 1990).

So, reading aloud to your children may seem to be monotonous and time-consuming nowadays, but if we give it a try, it may give us positive results.

2. Storytelling is one of the best ways to develop moral values in children

Nowadays we as parents may have less time to be with our children and because of that either we give less time to them or schedule ourselves for kids.

When we notice our child commit a mistake that we see to be a big fowl in near future, we scold our child, “You should not say this.” or “You are not supposed to do this.” If we ponder on this, we will notice that the child has not thought of the reason why I should not do this?

So in those conditions, we can use storytelling as a strong tool because when we inculcate any moral value through moral stories, our children are most likely to get the reasons why I must not do this because in the story that particular character did “this” so “that” happened to him/her.

Another reason why this is an effective tool because, in my country (India), Most of us have brought up by hearing moral stories from Scriptures like Ramayan, Panchatantra stories and Mahabharat

ramayan, dusshera, festival

Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development infer that until children understand the aspects of the moral dilemma they can not fully utilize their moral reasoning.

He had also focused on the involvement of the individual in any tight corner to understand the reasoning of right and wrong.

Intelligence may be taken as a necessary, but not sufficient, cause of moral advance. All morally advanced children are bright, but not all bright children are morally advanced.

– Lawrence Kohlberg

3. Storytelling improves imagination

I’m sure, most off us have heard stories from elders and for once lost in the imagination. I remember losing myself in the realm of imagination when I heard the story of Ali Baba and forty thieves and The little Red Riding Hood.

Since 20 years back there was less exposure to TV and cell phones so it was quite natural to listen to the stories more than watching.

Imagination is very important for all of us as it enhances the skill of understanding the problem and analyse possible solutions.

It is also essential that when you tell stories you should ask what picture has been drawn in your child’s mind. You can also ask your child to draw those in a drawing book.

Usually, when we listen to any rumor and gossip from our friends, our brain starts taking pictures of the same.

4. Storytelling induces the brain to release happy chemicals

Chemistry of Awareness, Arousal and Action

Today we know a lot more about brain chemistry and the role that a small set of organic chemicals in the brain are released when people hear stories.  The topic of storytelling and brain chemistry has been added in both popular and semi-academic books like Charles Duhigg’s 2014 bestseller, The Storytelling Animal: How Stories Make Us Human.” 

The first chemical is cortisol, which gets produced when something grabs our attention, like sorrow or sadness. Where we hear about potential threats in our environment or hear something sad in a story.

Cortisol helps us stay attentive. It is also known as awakening awareness. 

Next comes a far more interesting and popular chemical called dopamine. This gets produced to aid in a learning system that rewards us (with pleasure) when we follow the emotionally charged events in a story. 

Last is the wonder drug of storytelling: oxytocin. While there are many other things in the human organism that help make us social, oxytocin has been identified as a chemical that promotes social, empathic behavior.

brain, mind, psychology
Storytelling effects on brain

5. Storytelling improves communication skills

Successful communication is more than telling information; it is about engaging your child. One factor we must remember is that stories not only let us consume information, but they also allow us to experience information, and experiences are deeply tied to emotion.

Storytelling helps emotional intelligence to blend with the listening process when we tell stories. This becomes a key factor to improve social intelligence when children interact with each other.

human, children, girl
Story telling imroves communication

What we can do, after telling a portion of a story, we can ask our children to communicate the key understanding of the same.

Conclusion

Storytelling is an age-old ritual that nowadays is being faded away. In our childhood, many of us have been taught morality by telling fables, moral stories, and kathas from scriptures. We are noticing that many of our children are not learning proper social skills because they are not being exposed to these content.

So, why we shouldn’t resume storytelling again and experience better family and social interaction so that our children may pass this precious skill to the next generation when they’ll take our place as parents or teachers.

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