Why is Storytelling Important to Your Children?
Often as parents, we exhaust all means to search for what we can give our children to ensure that they are given the love and care they deserve from us. We send them to the best schools, buy them nice clothes, and feed them the most nutritious foods, take them to beautiful places as a trip and more. However, one of the most precious things you can give to your child or children is not something material but the time you spend in reading them stories. It is one of those bonding moments that you create with your children that truly leave a strong imprint to their brains.
I remember when I was a child, my mother and grandfather would often tell us a story at night. At that time, books were quite expensive so my mother would just tell us stories without any books. But somehow, those moments have stayed in my mind until now that I am a mother myself. I can still remember the stories they told us and I even try to tell my son and my students those stories. That is why when I became a mother, I started collecting storybooks for my child. When I was teaching overseas like Japan, Singapore and Indonesia, English books were so expensive. That is why, I am very happy that here in Korea; you can easily buy books at a cheaper price, thanks to secondhand bookstores and parents re-selling their children’s books after they outgrow them.
Storytelling is the oldest way of teaching. It created bond among people providing children answers to their questions and wonders about the origins of things, about animals, the space, about human being and more. Storytelling offers a send of wonder about the world and craft magic. It takes children to places without travelling physically. Storytelling is a unique manner for children to form an understanding, respect and appreciation for other cultures, and can stimulate a positive attitude to individuals from various lands and religions. Furthermore, listening to stories allow children to develop their love for academic learning. On a daily basis, the words used at home are limited to colloquial words. However, once we open the book and read to our children, a new level of vocabulary is presented to children that are readily available for them to learn and remember. Children are able to remember the words faster because of the context of the story.
When children listen to the story being read to them, it allows them to imagine characters, the plot, the setting and more. It is a different experience from watching videos from the iPad or tablet. Storytelling stimulates the imagination and creativity of children. It allows them to imagine themselves as an audience of the story or one of the characters of the story. If you are a parent who likes to prepare your child for their future academic learning, storytelling is a good way to prepare your child. This is because the child will be trained to focus, which is a very crucial skill in doing well in school.
Make storytelling a routine. If it becomes something that your child or children will get used to it, they will always look forward to it and the bond you create with them will last forever. This custom will be carried on when they have their own family as well and will do with their children in the future. If they read a story to their children, for instance same book for a few times, they will remember the flow of the story and the words and eventually can retell the stories when you ask them to.
Storytelling is a strong family bonding activity that has slowly lost its presence in the world today due to the hectic schedule of parents and the emergence of entertainment in the form of online videos that children are apparently very fond of watching these days. However, this is not a good way to raise your children. The memories they will have of their parents are not as concrete as when parents sit down with them and read stories to them. Storytelling does not need to be a boring or a complex activity. It could be a simple narration and sharing of anecdotes about how their day was or sharing to your children how they used to be when they were little. This will make children feel closer to their older parent.
If you are a parent who is always worried about preparing your child for the future, think again. The answer is very easy: spend time with your child by reading books to them. They may not be interested in the beginning but once they understand that it is a routine, the bonds between parents and children become stronger. Children will become more secure and develop their social and emotional skills. Most importantly, story telling will help build the brain architecture of your child by linking neural pathways through constructive, back and forth interactions.
Writer: Hazel May Vinluan-Kim