Stories take children to a magical world filled with wonder. They learn some of life’s most important lessons from the morals that stories provide, especially at the toddler and pre-schooler stage. In fact, it’s astounding how they can comprehend so much through stories when their understanding of universal concepts and patterns are absent during that phase! Even after they grow up, children continue to enjoy listening to stories.
This narrative medium –
- develops in children an understanding, respect and appreciation for other cultures
- helps them learn about people from different lands, and of different races and religions
- hones their listening skills
- introduces them to different forms of stories
While listening to stories has a number of benefits for children, when they learn to reel off stories on their own, it brings along further benefits. For, storytelling is a lot more than simple narration. It can ignite the creativity of your child and help her develop in areas of her life that have long-term benefits. Given below are some key benefits that storytelling offers your child to help her become the success she is meant to be.
1. Equips with language skills: Apart from equipping your child with narrative skills, storytelling will increase her vocabulary and make her more inclined to verbalise her thoughts and feelings. She will learn to use different voices for the different characters in her stories by altering her pitch, speed of utterance and volume. With time, her enunciation and pronunciation will improve. Along with speaking, her listening skills will also improve as she adopts diverse ways to say the same story again. An improvement in any one language skill generally leads to the development of the others. So, very soon you will see a refinement in your child’s reading and writing abilities as well. This will also lead to an increase in the complexity of the language she uses.
2. Fine-tunes body language: Storytelling is not limited to his communicating through words. Your child will learn to use his facial expressions and hand gestures to be a good storyteller. In order to hold the attention of his audience, he will also develop the ability to engage in eye-contact with them. As he grows more used to storytelling scenarios, he will naturally learn to use his space effectively. You may also notice how he grows more at ease in telling tales to strangers and responding to their reactions to what he has to say and how he says it. These are skills that are essential to becoming a successful communicator.
3. Moulds the personality: Storytelling will make your child confident. Having a variety of people in the audience will enable her to socialise with different age-groups and people from various backgrounds. It will instil in her the ability to engage and sustain the interest of listeners. This will endear people to her. Also, storytelling will equip your child with the ability to deal with disagreeable listeners, unexpected interruptions and negatively-charged reactions. On the whole, it will promote her growing-up into a strong and sure-footed individual.
4. Develops cognitive skills: Recollecting and repeating stories reinforces your child’s memory skills. Also, mapping and picturing the plot of stories in his mind will enhance his concentration power. These will subconsciously influence the way he approaches studies, in a positive manner. Furthermore, retelling stories in his own words will increase his creative prowess and innovative genius. Additionally, the abilities to sustain clarity and focus will provide him with expertise to handle interruptions to the flow of thought and lapses of memory. His reward will be an alert mind that equips him to think on his feet.
5. Creates social awareness: Society owes a lot to the art of storytelling. From time immemorial, stories have wielded much more power than speeches and lectures. Great trailblazers, from Aesop to Malala Yousafzai, use stories to get their point across to the masses. Your child’s storytelling too can serve as her vehicle to contribute to the community and society. When her stories carry a message, they can bring like-minded people together; encourage their involvement in and empathy for a common cause. Her role as a responsible citizen can be enriched tremendously through her storytelling.
The areas in your child’s life that have been mentioned above have a direct bearing on his relationships and his professional life. These are as important, if not more important, than academics for him. As you can clearly see, storytelling presents a wealth of benefits to guarantee a prosperous career and successful interpersonal relations for your little darling. So, onward! Keep providing opportunities for him to tell his tales whenever and wherever he can!
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