Importance Of Storytelling In Your Child's Overall Development
“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.” That’s not me saying it. That’s Einstein. And if one of the world’s greatest minds has said this, who are we to ponder otherwise?
We’ve always been big believers in storytelling. There’s such a profound sense of beauty and joy as you curl up in an armchair or cuddle into bed armed with your child and a book. Throw in their wide-eyed stares, half-open mouths, and weirdly entertaining snorts as they lose themselves in the story, and we’ve found a bonding experience we never ever want to let go of. Besides being the greatest bonding experience (ever), here are some of the other ways in which storytelling plays a massive, massive role in your child’s development.
It Fosters Imagination, Curiosity And Communication
When children listen to a story, their imagination is on steroids! They’re picturing characters, they’re living the plot and they’re visualising the setting; they’re sowing the first seeds of creativity. Unlike screen-based stories where the picture plays out on a screen, their minds are literally creating a dynamic, fluid world in which the story is set.
Reading to a child also helps them crystallise and communicate their thoughts and feelings. Encourage them to talk to you about the plot and characters, ask them how they think a character could behave, let them ask questions whenever they feel like, they’re simply learning how to express themselves.
Reading is also the perfect way to broaden their vocabulary. In a story, each new word already appears in a setting, making it easier to explain its meaning to the child and making it easier for them to remember the word as well.
It Lets Them Embrace And Understand The World
Stories enable children to experience different worlds, countries, traditions, and cultures. It instills a sense of cultural empathy and understanding in them, teaching them to appreciate and respect things that are unfamiliar. It expands their horizon on the world and everything in it.
It Develops Focus And Social Skills
We all know how ridiculously hard it is to hold a child’s attention. Their minds are nowhere and everywhere, all at once. But a story holds their attention. It arrests their wandering minds; it forces them to listen to the story to know more. It makes them focus and concentrate. Simply put, it makes them listen better.
Through storytelling, children are encouraged to listen to others; be it the storyteller or the other children listening to the story. They learn to be patient while someone else speaks, they learn to recognise that there are other ways of interpretation and thinking, and learn to respect the opinions of others.
So, make storytelling a ritual. If not for the umpteen benefits, then to at least enjoy the perfect way to brighten up your day. Or wind it down. Make it your ‘thing’ with your child.
Also Read: Use A Multisensory Approach To Facilitate Interactions With Your Child