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As a new parent, I would often look up on the internet or forage through bookstores for that beautiful story with that perfect ending which would make my daughter imagine a life of possibilities and not of fairytale endings.
As I met more parents, I realized, that is something that most of us seek. Whether it is inculcating a reading habit or a routine of bedtime storytelling, stories help us bond with our little ones and help us together answer the problems we face in daily life like finding our own selves, what we want to grow into or what friendship and freedom mean to us.
There is enough and more research in developmental psychology to indicate that parent-child rituals like ‘story time’ build feelings of security and trust in both the parent and the child towards each other.
When you tell a story through intonations and narrations, you build a creative excitement in the child who engages in their own parallel processing of visualization and thinking what next. It helps in language development and language processing by building vocabulary, learning to distinguish between subtle changes in tone and understanding punctuation.
Stories transport children to different countries and time zones, and help them know more, learn more and dream more. Stories, believe it or not, also help build character and emotional intelligence, which are the 21st-century requirements of a leader. Wondering how that happens? Reflect – Have you ever asked, “So, what was the moral of the story?” Answering this question is how children learn critical thinking, empathy and perspective taking.
However, every seasoned storyteller will tell you – there may not be just one moral – there could be multiple takeaways, just like there are multiple truths.