Tips to enhance creative storytelling.

Sonia Billadeau April 02, 2014
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Many parents use storytelling to supplement reading books to their children. Children love being told stories. There’s an added level of interaction from reading a story including your own vocabulary, facial expressions, sound effects, and possible props.

As adoptive parents, most of us tell a variation on “the day we met.” However, some parents say that they have trouble thinking of stories to tell. So for those of you who are creatively challenged, or just too tired to be creative, here are a few storytelling beginnings that may encourage your storytelling abilities. Each of them should be adjusted to suit the age, interests, and needs of your child.

An adoption story… Once upon a time, there was a beautiful, soft, furry rabbit named Rory Rabbit who lived all by himself in the woods. Rory Rabbit didn’t have anyone to tuck him in at night, or to play games with him, or to take care of him when he was sick…

Helping a child realize that everyone has differences… Tommy Tumble was mad. He was different and he didn’t like it. All of his friends were good bike riders, and he wasn’t. Also, he couldn’t run as fast as some of his friends. He was mad and decided he’d never go outside to play again. Tommy Tumble’s mother,however, had some things to share with Tommy. She sat him on her lap and told him about how she is different, too…

Helping a child to become a good friend and improve social skills… Once upon a time, there was a little fox named Freddie who didn’t have any friends. He wanted a friend but no one liked to play with him. He thought and thought about it and decided to go ask wise Mrs. Owl for help. Mrs. Owl was known by all the animals in the forest as a kind, helpful, and very wise grandma to everyone. When Freddie went to Mrs. Owl’s, she shared some ideas with him on how to be a friend and get a friend…

For a child who tries too hard to be perfect… Patty Perfect was, of course, perfect. She was always polite. She got excellent grades. She did all her chores. But, she wasn’t very happy. She had to work so hard to be perfect that she didn’t have time to have fun. One day, she met another little girl named Nancy Not-Quite Perfect. Nancy said she used to be like Patty Perfect until…

Storytelling is a great way to help your child learn new ways to look at life and to feel good about themselves. Tell occasional stories, or pick one night a week when you tell a story instead of reading them a book. Your child will benefit and you’ll enjoy it, too.

Written by: Susan M. Ward, an older child adoption specialist, provides parent coaching and resources for adoptive families. Susan’s training has focused on adoption issues relating to attachment, grief, and parenting. She’s also the adoptive parent of a child healed from RAD (reactive attachment disorder).

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Sonia Billadeau

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