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!

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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!

Are you afraid to jump in the unknown? Read the kindergarten story Scaredy Squirrel!

Cover of "Scaredy Squirrel"

Cover of Scaredy Squirrel

I already told you the story of the Icky Little Duckling a few posts ago. Now I want to share with you another cute kindergarten story. It is called Scaredy Squirrel, written by Melanie Watt.

“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”!

What if we would all live like ducklings?

Ducklings

Ducklings (Photo credit: burnt in effigy)

There is probably Millions of Stories written for children in the world. I read a few myself to my own children of course. There is one I remember reading to my daughter a while back before she could read by herself. The story is called “Icky Little Duckling” by Steve Smallman and Tim Warnes.

It’s a funny story about a very organized Mr. Rabbit who finds a beautiful and perfect egg while walking outside. He brings it home, but suddenly the egg cracks and a icky little duckling goes out of it, saying “Mom!”. This adventure is going to change the life of Mr. Rabbit. Soon, his house became not as clean, calm and perfect as it used to be. Mr. Rabbit becomes frustrated and start searching for the duckling’s mother in the hope of getting rid of the baby and getting back his clean, calm and perfect house. Finally, after some time, Mr. Rabbit finds the mother and the duckling return to live with her. The house becomes again as clean, calm and perfect as it used to be. But then, guess what? Mr Rabbit finds himself no longer happy in this situation. He realizes that having a clean, calm, perfect, but empty house is actually quite boring! He finally goes out again to invite all the duckling’s family in for a party at his house!

The End.

To me, this is a simple story that illustrates well what really matter in life. Not only is it a funny story, but it teaches the importance of friendship to children. Think about it, are you living like Mr. Rabbit or like the little duckling?

“Icky little duckling” is one of the 1 millions stories I want to tell children all around the world as part of the project Millions of Stories.

And you, which children book do you remember? What are the best stories you have been told, or have told to your own children? Which ones really matter to be told to many many children in the world?

Suggestions welcome, I still need to find 999,999 more stories to tell!