Kate Farrell, author of Story Power, recently wrote a new blog post on family storytelling in the age of Zoom and she was also a guest on a radio show, take a look!
Family Storytelling in the Time of Zoom
As the 2020 school year begins, every home with young, school-age children is facing the challenges of online learning. There are reports of mixed success, and long hours hunched in front of computer screens. All young children are eager to learn—yet they can become discouraged with the lack of human contact with their teachers and school mates. How can we counteract the negative effects of an enforced, digital environment?
We parents and caregivers can hope to limit screen time, but what can we do instead of watching TV, streaming movies, gaming, or scrolling through social media? Regardless of the ever-present screens, we can take heart knowing that children love storytelling, tales told directly to them.
The many benefits of oral storytelling are: emotional bonding and sense of well-being, creative imagination, and listening/speaking skills.
TELLING TRUE STORIES
Retelling the child’s daily events at bedtime is a simple way to capture his or her experience in a story sequence. Recounting the happenings of the child in a story format provides a frame or a reframing of them in a meaningful way—it can make sense of what might have been chaotic or upsetting. While building the capacity to remember details and oral fluency, this personal narrative also can calm the child.
Tips for Telling: Encourage the child to remember details and sequence by asking, “What happened next?” or “Did we go to the park next?” Develop a consistent way to end the daily story, such as “Then Daddy tucked her in and turned out the light, and said ‘Good night; sleep tight.’” This type of reassuring ritual creates a safety net, as all ends well. The bond between caregiver and child is reinforced through the intimate sharing of this personal tale.
YOUR CHILDHOOD STORIES
Telling your own childhood memories can be among the most important stories you tell. Children love to hear about your adventures and how they turned out. It deepens the bond of shared experience, since the child identifies with you and is vicariously involved. He may ask you to tell certain stories again and again—a clue to how he/she most clearly connects with your life. The personal story is excellent device for bridging generations and reaching out to other family members. Ask grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, caregivers, and siblings to participate.
Tips for Telling: Set aside a quiet time to reflect on a real life incident from your childhood:
Close your eyes and pinpoint an age, perhaps the current age of your child. Focus on a time when you were five, for example. As random images and fragments rise to the surface:
–Remember a time when you were five and you were happy.
-Remember a time when you were five and you were sad.
-Remember a time when you were five and you were surprised.
-Remember a time when you were five and you were scared.
-Remember a time that was funny.
–Now remember an incident from one of those times that you would like to tell as a story.
When you have found the story incident, live through it again and open your eyes.
You may want to replay the event more than once. As you do, recollect all sense impressions vividly. Hear, see, smell, taste, feel all the sights, sounds, objects of your experience. Feel the emotions once more. Rehearse the dialogue.
Frame the story with a clear beginning, middle, and end, such as:
One day when I was (age), I was living (where) & (with) .
That day, I _________ (what happened?)
because of that (what happened?)
because of that (what happened?)
UNTIL (story climax).
Secrets to Creating, Crafting, and Telling Memorable Stories
Stories are everywhere. The art of storytelling has been around as long as humans have. And in today’s noisy, techy, automated world, storytelling is not only prevalent—it’s vital. Whether you’re interested in enlivening conversation, building your business brand, sharing family wisdom, or performing on stage, Story Power will show you how to make use of a good story.