065: Why storytelling is so important for our children

“Storytelling? I’m already reading books to my child – isn’t that enough?”

Your child DOES get a lot out of reading books (which is why we’ve done a several episodes on that already, including What children learn from reading books, How to read with your child, and Did you already miss the boat on teaching your toddler how to read?.

But it turns out that storytelling benefits our relationship with our child in ways that reading books really can’t, because you’re looking at the book rather than at your child. If you ask your child what kind of story they’d like you to tell, you also get incredible insight into both their interests and concerns – I can attest to this, as I’ve been singing story-songs about poop and various kinds of baby animals who can’t find their mamas on and off for several weeks now (we had an incident a few months back where she couldn’t find me in a store).

In this episode we also discuss the ways that people from different cultures tell stories, and what implications this has for them as they interact with our education system.

Other episodes mentioned in this show:

035: Is your parenting All Joy and No Fun?

References
Bengtsson, N. (2009). Sex and violence in fairy tales for children. Bookbird: A journal of international children’s literature 47(3), 15-21.
Byers,L.A.(1997).Telling the stories of our lives: Relational maintenance as illustrated through family communication. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Ohio University.
Bylund, C.L. (2003). Ethnic diversity and family stories. Journal of Family Communication 3(4), 215-236.
Clark, A.N. (1969). Journey to the People. New York, NY: Viking.
Dyson, A.H., & Genishi, C. (Eds) (1994). The need for story: Cultural diversity in classroom and community. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English.
Egan, K. (1987). Literacy and the oral foundations of education. Harvard Educational review 57, 445-472.
Egan, K. (1997). The educated mind: How cognitive tools shape our understanding. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
Fiese, B.H., Hooker, K.A., Kotary, L., Schwagler, J., & Rimmer, M. (1995). Family stories in the early stages of parenthood. Journal of Marriage and Family 57(3), 763-770.
Gee, J.P. (1985). The narrativization of experience in the oral style. Journal of Education 167(1), 9-35. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/42742075
Gordon, T.-J. (1991). Teachers telling stories: Seven-, eight-, and nine-year-old children’s written responses to oral narratives. Unpublished doctoral dissertation. Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ.
Greene, E., & Del Negro, J.M. (2010). Storytelling: Art and technique (4th Ed.). Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
Haven, K. (2007). Story proof: the science behind the startling power of story. Santa Barbara, CA: Libraries Unlimited.
Isaacs, D. (2013). Sex and violence in fairy tales. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health 49(12), 987-988.
Jasper, M. (2017, February 19). Only 22% of children’s book characters were people of color in 2016. The Mary Sue. Retrieved from https://www.themarysue.com/poc-childrens-book-characters-2016/
Killick, S., & Frude, N. (2009). The teller, the tale, and the told. Psychologist 22(1), 850-853.
Koenig, J. (2002). Family ties: Identity, process, and relational qualities in joint family
storytelling. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Washington, Seattle.
Larsen, N.E., Lee, K., & Ganea, P.A. (2017). Do storybooks with anthropomorphized characters promote prosocial behaviors in young children? Developmental Science (Online article). Full article available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/desc.12590?shared_access_token=pe47nFMA_K4-5DuHH3I2d4ta6bR2k8jH0KrdpFOxC6748z_qEzyWjpKevlijCSNZqgMtKQWoecQi1JomdGjs2zXZ4BBmtV3ULQacZfVUsyCUHU74tThtq9R3osjgNiWG-ek7hYaAJINhD0wfJowkFQ%3D%3D

McManus, S. (1994). Hibernian Nights. New York, NY: Barnes & Noble.
Noddings, N. (2002). Educating moral people: A caring alternative to character education. New York, NY: Teacher’s College Press.
Ramirez-Esparza, N., & Pennebaker, J. W. (2006). Do good stories produce good health?
Exploring words, language, and culture. Narrative Inquiry, 16, 211-219. Full article available at: http://poetryforpersonalpower.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/good-stories-produce-good-health.pdf
Stone,E.(1988). Black sheep and kissing cousins: How our stories shape us. New York: Times Books.
Sturm, B.W. (2000). The storytelling trance experience. The Journal of American Folklore 113(449), 287-304.
The Conversation Africa (n.d.). Cultural appropriation: When “borrowing” becomes exploitation. Retrieved from https://www.huffingtonpost.com/the-conversation-africa/cultural-appropriation-wh_b_10585184.html
Trees, A.R., & Kellas, J.K. (2009). Telling tales: Enacting family relationships in joint storytelling about difficult family experiences. Papers in Communication Studies (1-2009), University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Full article available at https://digitalcommons.unl.edu/commstudiespapers/121/
Wilson, K. (2016, September 14). How diverse is children’s literature? This infographic tells the disturbing truth. Bustle. Retrieved from https://www.bustle.com/articles/183948-how-diverse-is-childrens-literature-this-infographic-tells-the-disturbing-truth

 

Share:

Leave a Comment