Why is storytelling an eminent part of parenting and how to master this art

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Storytelling has been a part of Indian tradition since time immemorial. Before the emergence of the written word, oral story-telling was the primary method of transportation of stories that were rich in moral values and life lessons. Storytelling is an art which has survived through the ages especially because of its entertainment factor and numerous other benefits. Both these elements are most advantageous when it comes to parenting and overall development of a kid.

Advantages of storytelling for kids

While reading is a habit that one should definitely instil in their children, it is storytelling in the formative years of the child that has a great positive influence on his or her development. Here are some reasons why:

  • Develops an interest in reading:
    Telling stories acts as the first step that you help your child take towards a healthy reading habit. It is your storytelling that will eventually cultivate your kid’s interest in reading.
  • Stimulating the kid’s imagination:
    Storytelling acts a great tool through which you can gift your child an active and creative imagination. It also affects and improves their use of language.

  • Bonding with you:
    You can efficiently bond with your child while narrating different stories to them and even they will be able to connect with you better through this exercise from an early age.
  • Overcoming the fear of speaking in public:
    Research says that the fear of expressing in public is the second most widespread fear that adults inhabit within themselves. Watching you narrate stories and encouraging your kids to participate in that narration can help your kid in getting comfortable about speaking in public and expressing from a very young age. Hence, narrating stories can eradicate this fear effectively, assisting them in growing into confident and dynamic adults.
  • Sensitivity towards people:
    Narrating stories of people from different walks of life can actually help you develop sensitivity in your kid from a young age. Hearing stories of people from different places that they have never known can open up different worlds to them and sensitise them about fellow human beings.

“GREAT STORIES HAPPEN TO THOSE WHO CAN TELL THEM” – Ira Glas

How to master the art of effective story-telling

Storytelling is an art and only the right way of carrying out this exercise can positively affect your kid. Here are some simple methods of mastering this art:

  • Let the kid choose the story:
    After introducing your kid to a few stories you can always ask them which one they would like to hear. This will keep your kid more interested in your narration and hence feel more included.
  • Ask your kid to participate in storytelling as well:
    This activity will also make your child feel more included and interested in the entire exercise and even stimulate their imagination and improve their speaking skills.
  • Make use of interesting words and phrases:
    It will make your child curious about language itself and acquaint him with newer words that can improve his vocabulary and use of language.
  • Use a lot of facial expressions to grasp the child’s interest.
  • Use gestures:
    Using bodily gestures will fascinate your child and he or she would eagerly look forward for your story sessions.
  • Voice modulation:
    Use good amount of voice modulation for different characters while storytelling which will entice your kid and help them enter the world of the story better. You can ask them to do the same along with you, making the entire process fun and entertaining.
  • Engage in structured storytelling with your partner:
    Make yourself a team and indulge in storytelling as a family. This will help the kid bond with both the parents and also understand familial values and teamwork.
  • Try wordless picture books:
    Knit stories by looking at picture books that use visuals as cues to construct a scene and encourage your kid to do the same. This again helps in improvising your kid’s imagination and stimulates their creative side.

Happy story-time, happy parenting!