Seeing the immense success I’m having so far in getting people tell stories to children around them, I started to think of ways to make the process even easier and to give some reward to those willing to do the extra step of registering with us after telling a story to a child close to them.
I’m perfectly conscious that most of you who read my posts may already tell stories to their own children or to their close little ones relatives . So why would you bother to register to my blog and tell me that, right? Isn’t everybody reading stories to their kids anyway? Well, according to a study of the University of California, only 47.8% of children between birth and the age of 5 are read to everyday by their parents in the United States. I have to admit, this is a study dated of 2007, but quite honestly, do you really believe this has improved since then? I don’t.
All this to say, that the very first phase of the Millions of Stories project is to raise awareness around this fact. To do so, we need something big, we need a lot of persons unifying together behind a huge and noticeable goal, i.e. telling 1 millions of stories to children all around the world.
Skeptics, now I hear you thinking : “1 millions of stories that’s already impossible to achieve and now he talks about this as being the first phase or the project? Crazy!”. No, no, I’m not crazy, I strongly believe this can happen and that once this first phase is completed, a world of possibilities will then open in order to further expand to bigger events, such as many Storytelling Events if you recall one of my first post about those.
But, back to earth now, we need to start with the first milestone. It’s very easy, trust me. I just need 6 more persons, 1 per continent, willing to tell a story to a child and register with us. I already got North America covered, but nonetheless, I’m still accepting registration from there too. The next step is to ensure coverage in every country after all!
To make it easier and more anonymous, in case this can be a concern for anyone, I created an easy-to-fill form for registering.. The only 3 questions to fill are the following:
- Which story did you tell to a child for this project?
- In which continent are you based?
- In which country are you based?
You don’t even have to provide your name, e-mail or any personal information! This project is not about collecting your personal information, it’s about telling stories to children and making them happy, that’s all! That reminds me one of my tweet few days ago : “I have nothing to sell, just happiness to giveaway!”. That’s true! 🙂
The questions regarding the continent and country are simply to allow me to keep track of progress through the goal because, not only do I want to have 1 million stories told all around the world, but I want to have at least 1 story told in each and every country and therefore in each and every continent as well. That includes Antarctica!
Finally, last but not least, the reward! That’s right, there is a reward. As you register, if you provide a link to your web site or blog, I promise to post at least one link back to your site in a summary post about the project progress. I may even post it multiple times if it is relevant to some of my other posts. Think of this link-back as being an investment. Today, because this project is starting, the net result may not be that big, but just imagine what my search-engine ranking (and therefore yours) will be when the goal will be reached! Think it through carefully before passing by this great opportunity!
So, really, registering with us becomes a win-win-win situation. By order of importance…
- Win for a child who got to share an happy storytelling moment
- Win for you with an increased score in search-engine ranking
- Win for the project Millions of Stories in getting closer to its ultimate goal.
What are you waiting for then? Tell a story, any nice story, to a child and : Be part of It, Join Us!
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!
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!
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.
- 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!
- Cristian Mihai
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?
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!
Tonight, I told a short version of Toy Story 3 to my little 3 years old boy. He was sitting on my laps, looking attentively at the book, just before going to bed. We both enjoyed this very special moment. We laugh together, I tickle him from time to time, give him some kisses while telling the story and he loved it.
To me, this is probably the best moment of the day we share together. In the morning, we’re too much in a hurry to go to kindergarten and then to work. We don’t see each other for the whole day, then when I come home late, my wife and the kids already ate dinner most of the time. Then we needs to clean things up, give the bath to the kids, finish the homework of the older sister, etc. Just like most parents with little kids, we’re running all over the place from 6 am to 7 pm all days of the week.
Bedtime stories are almost the only time of the weekdays when we can fully enjoy the moment with our kids. A true moment of pure dad and boy time. At this time, nothing else matter, we’re together!
Tonight, then, I decided that Toy Story 3 was going to be the very first story told for my project Millions of Stories. I admit it, that was not at all an effort for me, not even a small one. Who cares? The only thing that matter really is that by telling my son a story, I ended up sharing an awesome moment with him and I made him happy.
This is what I’m dreaming for the 999,999 other children who will be told a story during this project.
Already telling stories to your kids? Tell us by registering on our Be part of it, join us! page