By Christine Cronin, LCSW-C
Think for a moment about the best storyteller in your family. Do you remember sitting in your grandmother’s kitchen as she told you a story about her best friend when she was young or about going fishing with an uncle on a boat and hearing his story about winning the neighborhood soccer game with his buddies? Maybe the story was overheard on the bus or the subway? We all hear special stories every day about people and memories old and current.
Consider building the power of telling a good story with your child, who in themselves are living stories! So much happens to them in a day. The tower they were carefully building fell when another child bumped the table. Their favorite stuffed toy went missing. Someone hugged them at day care. Maybe they forgot to bring a special object from home for “show-and-tell.” Every day, we all have stories happening. Teach your child how to share their day through words.
Here are some tips to bring out the creativity in your child:
- Make bedtime a special time with your child. After you finish the daily rituals of preparing for bed and remove any distractions from this important time, cuddle in a cozy way, and ask them to tell you a story about their day.
- Start the story, “Once upon a time in Baltimore, there was this little person who had a funny kind of a day…” Prompt your child to help you fill in the story and try to make it a story about their day.
- Include the troubling and sad moments of their day along with funny and surprising parts. As the days go by, and this routine becomes tradition, you can turn over the task of telling the story more and more to your child. Eventually they will say, “Mommy or Daddy, let me do it!”
This recipe calls simply for you to:
- Set aside quality time to share with your child
- Create the daily tradition of telling the story of your child’s life with each other
- Hear about the good and the tough moments of the day so that you can help your child untangle difficulties encountered
- Appreciate the growth moments in your young person’s life
- Share some of your own memories and special stories.
Trust me, you will experience many priceless moments!
Christine Cronin, LCSW-C, JCS Therapy Services
JCS provides individuals and families throughout Central Maryland with a broad array of services and resources to help you live your best life. To learn more, please visit jcsbalt.org or call 410-466-9200.