Everyone like to be told stories

Tell Me a Story

Tell Me a Story (Photo credit: heraldpost)

Yesterday, my daughter recall me an important fact. We all like to be told stories! Of course, toddlers loves to sit on their parents laps to listen to a cute bedtime stories. However, we often forget that older children also loved to be told stories.

Those who follow me for a while know that my daughter loves to read. She learned to read only last year, but she is now reading, reading and reading every single book she can encounter. Therefore, since about 1 year, I didn’t tell her any story myself. She is just able to read on her own.

Yesterday she had a brilliant idea. She asked me to tell her a story. I was a bit surprised, but I loved the idea. So she brought a book and I started to read. That was a beautiful moment just between me and her. It was funny for me to see how the interaction was different between us, than the interaction I have with her little brother in similar circumstances. While I was reading, my daughter was asking me the meaning of the most complicated words. At other times, she was correcting my reading and from time to time both of us were commenting on what was happening in the story. We just had a lot of fun together.

Then, after the first chapter, I got a bit tired and asked her to read the next chapter. What was my surprise to hear her reading aloud to me! She was so proud to read for me. Honestly, she was reading very very well. She was reading loud with expression, sometimes changing the voices for the different characters. That was a huge change compared to how she speaks on day to day. She usually speaks very softly. It was then my turn to feel so proud of her.

Apparently, she enjoyed the experience as much as I did because, again today, she asked me to read for her and she read for me.

For me, this was yet another time when a story had created a beautiful moment between a girl and her father.

Have you though of offering to read a story to your older children lately? If not, try do so at the most appropriate moment. They might be surprised of the offer and you might be surprised of the answer!

Moral Stories for Children : The Fables of La Fontaine, or Icky Little Duckling?

English: Still taken from the 1950ties childre...

English: Still taken from the 1950ties children TV program “The Fables of La Fontaine” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve written 3 posts about moral stories for children, or more precisely about stories from which children can learn something for their life. Actually, I believe that children can actually learn and benefit from any kind of story, not just those more commonly called “moral stories”. That’s why the dream I’m pursuing is to tell millions of stories to children all around the world and have a positive impact in their life.

After doing some research specific around moral stories, I realize that most of them are not so tailored for today’s children. Some of those stories are so short (few lines) that they don’t even let time for the child to get absorbed by the story and its characters. Others stories tell the moral so explicitly at the end of the story that it almost vanished the whole point of a story. Think about it, there is just no difference between saying to your kids : “be kind with your friends” and telling them one of those moral stories. The message gets into by one ear and goes out by the other! The moral needs to be more subtle to have a real impact on your child.

Seriously, children learns by example. They need to be able to identify themselves with a character in the story. They need to live the adventures along with this character and feel the same as the character feels, in order to realize and learn the same the character learns in that story.

Your little boy needs to become Mr. Rabbit, live in the big mess made by the baby duckling in his house, feel sad after the little duckling goes back to her mother, and then feel so happy when going out to invite all the duckling’s family back to his house for a big messy party!

My child need to become Scaredy Squirrel, live in a boring tree, do the same thing over and over again each day, be scared of the KILLER BEE! passing by, then be confused as his safety evacuation plan fall apart, then feel amazed, surprised, courageous, invincible when he realize he can fly (oupps,,, i told you the punch!) and then proud of himself to figure out that the unknown is not as scary as he imagined.

This other little girl needs to become Tara, to feel the fear of going to swim in the so big ocean, to feel pain of staying alone playing in the sand while all her friends are having fun swimming in the ocean, to feel better when starting to think of all courageous things she did in the past, then feel stronger and stronger the more she finds examples of her being courageous, and finally to feel proud of deciding on her own to go swimming with her friends!

This is, in my opinion, what moral stories for children are really about in today’s society. Although I have plenty of respect for Mr. De La Fontaine, it’s just great to see contemporary authors of children stories writing nice “moral” stories adapted for today’s kids. Cheers to you authors! Our kids will have a better life partly because of you!

Now your turn… What kind of moral stories do you prefer yourself for your little ones? What kind of stories do they prefer (isn’t that the most important after all? 🙂 ). Do you think that old-fashioned moral stories still have a place in today’s society?

Parents, authors, bloggers… share up your thoughts!

Going to the beach? Switch your mind to be courageous like Tara!

ocean

ocean (Photo credit: Stephen Edgar – Netweb)

Have you lately been in a situation you wanted to change? A boring party maybe? Being nervous about a presentation you need to do in few minutes? Or the fear of going to swim in the ocean maybe? You can change this quickly… Read on to know how!

Yesterday, I read to my son the story “The Dinofours, It’s Beach Day!” by Steven Metzger and Hans Wilhelm. It stroked me how similar it is to something I learned and applied recently in my own life, that is : I can always and quickly change the way I perceive any situation. It is my own and sole decision to change it or to not change it. Isn’t that powerful? It’s easy! Read on to know how…

“The Dinofours are going to the beach for the very first time. They are all excited but somewhat afraid also to go swimming in the immense ocean. Everyone in the class is saying that Tara will for sure go first because she is never afraid of anything. However, it turned out that Tara is afraid of the ocean! She finds herself very small compared to the big ocean and do not want to go swimming in there. While everyone else ends up going, Tara stays alone on the beach, playing in the sand, looking at others having fun. After a while, she starts thinking of a few occasions in her life where she has been brave and courageous. She found an example, then 2, then more and more and more! She begins to feel better, to think that after all, she can also go and have fun with her friends in the ocean! She says in herself ; “I’m courageous, I can swim in the ocean!”, then she wakes up, starts walking through the water, put a feet in, then go deeper and start swimming! She become very proud of her and have lots of fun with her friends!”

When you think of it, nothing around Tara has changed in this story from the beginning to the end. The ocean is the same, not better, not worst, her friends were and are still swimming and having fun. What changed then to make Tara decides that she was now able to go? Only her thoughts have changed. Only the way she decided to see the situation has changed. That actually made a huge difference on how she was able to approach and overcome her fears.

This can be applied not only to fears but to any situation you would like to change. Just start thinking on how you want to feel rather than focusing on how you feel now. Start feeling how you want to feel, amplify it by speaking to yourself like Tara did. That’s the key! Think “I’m courageous!” instead of “I’m afraid!”.

By applying this simple technique myself, I’ve been able to turn a boring office Christmas party into one of the best party I ever had. I have been able to do an excellent presentation in which I felt confident and in complete control. By teaching this technique to my daughter, she has been able to improve drastically how loud she speaks in front of her class. She has been able to control her pain once she hurt herself very bad while doing bicycle. And there is so many other examples… it’s just unbelievable how simple and effective this technique is.

Give it a try yourself… when you do not like a situation you are in, start thinking on how you want to feel about it instead. Tell it to yourself like Tara : “I’m courageous, I can swim in the ocean!”. Convince yourself about it. You won’t believe how easy it is and how much of a difference it makes.

As of today, I got 3 stories in my bank to tell to the children I will meet all around the world! Any other suggestions to offer? What are the best stories you ever read to your children? Or the best stories you remember from your childhood? Share them with us!

By the way… we’re still accepting candidates to read stories in all continents of the world!

Taking a step back… to better move forward!

It’s been 12 posts and the same number of days since I started this blog. I started it with an idea in mind, i.e. I wanted to let the world know about a great project I have : Millions of Stories. I did not suspect however how your feedback was going to help me framing up this project.

So far, I’ve been writing mostly in 2 categories : Think About It and Make It Happen. The former meant to explain my dream and the reasons I believe so much that this is what I am in this world to do. According to my little blogger experience, this category has been successful. I’ve got a few likes and views in this category from my very first post and regularly in the next ones as well.

Although the success of the posts in the second category (Make It Happen) is not as great, the overall experience for me is fantastic! Together, the overall feedback tells me a lot already.

Lessons Learned

  • There are people out there who think my project is great and who like the idea! Nice!
  • There is a fantastic community of dreamers currently blogging in WordPress and ready to provide feedback on others’ ideas. Many bloggers actually already made their dream happen (from whom I can take example), other are going to make it happen (like me) and other will just keep dreaming because that is what they want to do (we should never stop dreaming!).
  • On my end, I still have some work to do to better frame the project before the wheel can get started. The bloggers’ feedback will help me do that over the next couple of posts, great!

That being said, thanks for my early supporters, you really made a huge difference already, believe it or not!

I was not able to find the blog address for all of you. I’m pleased to add it back if you let me know the URL.

That being said, it’s time for more feedback… 🙂 what is your ideas on how to use stories to make children love books and create happiness in their lives?

Is telling stories to children everyday too much?

Story Time

Story Time (Photo credit: Squiggle)

I tend to think that children deserve to be told stories everyday. This is what I’m trying to do with my own children and this is also what drove the idea of the project Millions of stories.

And you, how often do you read stories to your little ones? Reply here or fill in the poll on my home page to give your opinion.