About 2 years ago, I read a novel titled Hell.com, from Patrick Senecal (which is apparently only available in french). This is an horror novel, probably the most horrible this author have ever written, at least from my perspective.
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!
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!
“The Scaredy Squirrel is a squirrel which always stay in its tree. Always, always. It is simply too afraid of the unknown to go down. He is scared of tarantulas, bacteria, sharks, bees, aliens and a few more things. Everyday, it follows the same routine. It wakes up, looks around, eats a nut, looks around, eats a nut, looks around and go to sleep. Same thing every single day. With its emergency kit and evacuation plan, It is all prepared for every single dangerous event that can happen. One day however, it sees a bee! A killer bee! Right away it panics and let fall down its emergency kit. Nothing happens as planned! So he jumps down to try to catch its kit, but… mistake! The parachute is inside the kit! …then, something unexpected happen. (here I won’t tell what exactly to leave some suspense. 😉 ). Since then, the Scaredy Squirrel learned that the “unknown” is not that terrifying after all. He even got to change its routine in order to “jump in the unknown” everyday.”
When I read this story to my little boy, it made me think of myself. What would happen if I would step out of my regular routine, jump into new challenges or activities? Sometimes, we’re afraid of moving only by fear of the unknown. If we stop 2 minutes, look back and try to remember what happened the last few times we jumped or were forced to jump in the unknown, was it for the best or for the worst? Most of the time we would realize it was for the best. The first few moments may have been difficult, the time needed to adapt, but then, in most cases, we wouldn’t want to go back.
Follow your dreams, your instincts, even if that means “jumping in the unknown”… that can only be for the best!
Back to the story… How about you? Have you ever read a story to your child, which in fact made you think of your own behavior? If so, share it with us here.
By the way, check out my new Pinterest board which shows “My Favorite Kindergarten stories”!
My father used to invent stories for me all the time. I remember sitting on his laps and asking him the kind of story I wanted to hear. To me, these moments are among the best souvenirs of my childhood.
My father was inventing stories about a little boy (that was me!) living some cool adventures in a variety of places I couldn’t even imagine.
I was sitting on his laps, listening attentively to the story, amazed some time, with some fear at other times, but always pleased to share this exceptional moment with my dad. During these moments, as a super hero or as any other character my dad was inventing, I was felling powerful and able to do anything of my life. That was a fabulous feeling for a little boy, a fabulous gift my father was giving me!
Every single children in the world deserve that an adult invent a story in which he or she is the main character. Even if it happens only once in the life of a child, it can end up changing his life, I’m convinced about that. This is what I want to giveaway to more than 1 million children in the world.
This project only needs to start with 7 parents enjoying to invent or tell stories to their 7 children.1 parent and 1 child in each continent of the world. That’s all it takes to start and that’s how we can show the world how we enjoy telling stories to our own children. That’s how the word will spread. The rest will come by itself with only a little bit of help. We can end up making a huge difference for millions of children in the world.
It only has to start somewhere!
Both my parents were teachers prior to retiring. My mother has been teaching first grade for quite a while She was the one by whom many children learned to read in our small town. When I was young, I heard all sort of stories about children learning to read.
Then I grew up and had children myself. One of the very first gift, my mother offered to my kids was a book. The babies weren’t even able to sit by themselves but they were looking at books while their grand-mother was telling them stories.
If you’ve been reading my previous posts, you know that I do absolutely love books myself. However, from time to time, while watching my mother tell stories to my baby daughter I was thinking: “Does she really understand what the book was about?”
Now my daughter grew as well, she is at school and has became a passionate reader. When we go to the library, she takes the maximum number of books possible (that’s 15!) and she read them all in less then 2 days over the week-end!
After watching my daughter read her books and be so passionate about them, I now know for sure that, when her grand-mother was telling her stories, my daughter understood what books were all about! It is now my turn to read stories to my younger boy, knowing that this can certainly make a huge difference in his life.
Reading to children all around the world is the best gift we can offer them. It will last for their whole life. Let’s together give them away more than 1 million of those gifts!