Sunday, 6 September 2020

Stories - A Key Ingredient in a Child's Growth

Stories are an integral part of every person's childhood. My childhood mostly revolved around Panchatantra stories especially the story of The Rabbit and the Tortoise race and the Crocodile and the Monkey, which are even popular today. The famous line to start every story - Once upon a time - is still cherished by myself. Kids like to immerse themselves in these fantasy or imaginary world where there is always a happy ending. Augmented with attractive pictures, stories provide simple understanding of human life. And kids never get tired of hearing the same story over and over again. So parents should be patient and calm with their kids and should not hesitate if a story has to be repeated several times. Plus repetition has also shown to increase the kids vocabulary.

Stories - A Key Ingredient in a Child's Growth

Stories Inculcate Learning

Over the years and with the vast availability of resources over internet, the medium of storytelling has changed. Youtube has hundreds of channels specifically dedicated to kids stories. Parents find it easier to put up the story on Youtube which keeps the child occupied and they can simultaneously focus on their own work. However, I would suggest to keep a balance of both mediums, that is, telling a story by reading it from a book and leveraging the use of technology.

Kids learn a lot from stories that are easy to understand and relate to. They start catching new words, understand shapes, colours, alphabets and numbers. For instance, my 4 year old daughter Shravya has recently started using the word 'Because' on a consistent basis in her daily sentences. In addition, for me stories develop the minds of the kids as well. They start questioning for things they do not understand, which is a good sign as they want to understand the reasoning behind every move. 

What kind of Stories are usually preferred by Kids

Mythological Stories

There are a number of mythological stories in our country but I believe Ramayana is the clear winner in this category. My daughter can listen to this story infinite times and is particularly fascinated by Lord Rama and Sita. Plus this story is related with our 2 key festivals - Dusshera and Diwali - which makes it easier for her to relate as well as celebrate.

Lord Ganesha stories are equally popular among children especially the one which tells about why an elephant head is placed on Lord Ganesha. Lord Krishna and Goddess Durga are also associated with important tales which children like to listen.

Moral Based Stories

Moral based stories imparts valuable lessons of life and helps in laying the foundation of a child in understanding what is right and wrong. It moulds the thought process of a child and guides them towards the right value system. Some of the popular stories are bifurcated into below categories:
  • Don't be Greedy: The Midas Touch, The Goose & the Golden Egg
  • Truth & Lies: Pinocchio, The Boy who Cried Wolf, The Honest Woodcutter
  • True Friendship: The lion & the Mouse, The Monkey & the Crocodile
  • Courage: The Thirsty Crow, Lambert the Sheepish Lion

Fairy Tale Stories

Fairies, Magic, Prince & Princess comes to our mind when we think about Fairy Tales. They are equally important in teaching kids essential life values such as love, kindness, respect and being humble. At the same time kids also learn about the consequences that negative emotions, such as greed and wickedness, generate. Cindrella, Snow White, Hansel and Gratel, Beauty and the Beast, etc are some of the popular stories preferred by my daughter in this category. In addition, the perseverance of the protagonist to not give up and the conquer of good over evil at the end of every story is what delights my daughter the most.
Fairy Tale Stories

Personal Stories

Trust me, kids really enjoy listening to a parent's personal story. This is because they easily relate the story to someone they love and trust. This goes without saying that the story should not entail any false information. Kids may imbibe the learning in their own life. Support your story with pictures if any.

Popular Cartoon Character Stories

Peppa Pig Stories

The one particular cartoon character which my daughter enjoys the most is Peppa Pig. I must compliment the content of this show which is extensively informative and is aptly structured for a toddler or younger kids. Every story runs for a maximum of 5-10 minutes which keeps a child engaged and each episode brings out different facets of life from a child's perspective. If your child hasn't seen it than this is one such cartoon you can make them watch because of their educational content.

I believe Stories are enjoyed by everyone and is not restricted to a particular age-group. They are not only a source of fun and entertainment but teaches key life skills to our younger ones. Develop a habit of reading atleast one story to your child. The child will not only be educated of different human values but the bond between a parent a child will only get stronger.