Once upon a time, before Mario Party, Zelda, and World of Warcraft, before Nintendo DS Lights, Wii, Sony Playstations, and video I-pods, and even before television and radio, there lived storytellers. Now, storytellers were an interesting breed of human beings, who looked pretty much like everybody else, except for a certain mysterious sparkle in their eyes. People, especially children, would eagerly gather around to hear their tales of enchantment, misfortune, romance, adventure, and luck.
The storyteller was animated. The storyteller was passionate. She made her voice dance with magic and her face glow with expression. She took every listener along on a captivating journey, and each one was forever changed by her tales. She imparted wisdom, advice, and knowledge in a way which was so deeply imbedded in the story that her audience did not feel preached to or lectured. They wanted to know more, and eagerly awaited further enlightenment.
With the passage of time and the introduction (now saturation) of machines that glow, blast, and flash “stories” in an electronic, hypnotic way, the storyteller has tragically become a rare, almost non-existent specimen. And sadly, our children have lost a valuable learning tool. So I send out a cry to parents everywhere, a desperate plea to bring back the storytellers! Bring back the storytellers! Bring them back!
But how, you ask? And who are they? My answer is that there is a storyteller in YOU. YOU are the greatest storyteller your child could ever hope for. But you must turn on that inner light, that mysterious sparkle in your eyes, and be engaging. Reading books to your child is a wonderful activity, but in this blog I am referring to YOU telling your own stories to your child.
But I’m no good at telling stories, you say. I disagree. With a little effort, you can change your child’s life, motivate him, inspire, offer courage, make her laugh, and teach her what matters most. You need only take the time to share the experiences of your past, and the stories you’ve heard of friends, ancestors, and acquaintances who endured challenges and learned valuable lessons. Truth has always been more interesting than fiction, and with the right spin, your child will be intrigued. Talk about the times you made mistakes, the times you suffered, the times you tried your hardest and failed. Tell about the times you succeeded, the times you were charitable, and the times you made the right choice, against all odds. Don’t just lecture; use the storyteller’s magic of bringing your child back in time and space to those moments that shaped your character. Get right into the scene. What did you see? Smell? Hear? How did you feel? Who else was there? What were you desperately afraid of? What were you up against?
During this holiday season I ask you parents, especially parents of children facing challenges, to take time to share your personal stories of hope with your kids. By doing so, you will give them many priceless gifts–gifts which need no ribbons or wrapping paper, gifts that promote togetherness, and gifts that last a lifetime.
Kristyn Crow is the author of this blog. Visit her website by clicking here. Some links on this blog may have been generated by outside sources are not necessarily endorsed by Kristyn Crow.
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