Using storytelling to teach family values and important life lessons is a powerful way to connect with our grandchildren while teaching them about who we are as a family. We can share the character traits we believe are critical and the activities we participate in as a family. We can highlight cultural issues and stances.
How Storytelling Can Be Used to Teach Values & Life Lessons
Storytelling might be done by sharing:
- Family stories that teach pertinent lessons or traits
- Personal stories about situations that shaped who we are as grandparents
- Favorite books that teach moral lessons
- Movies that show good winning over evil or teach the hero’s role in life
- Fables that teach lessons about behavior and consequences
- Parables with moral and behavioral lessons
Storytelling is as old as humanity. It’s the way much of human history has been shared and passed down. It delights young and old at the same time as the story is driving home messages we find important as either a community or family.
As we seek to be intentional in our grandparenting, we can seek out the stories that resonate with our values and family vision, then share and discuss them with our young ones. Discussion about the stories we share is important. Why? First, it allows us to understand how much of the story was understood by our Grands. Did they catch the points we thought important? If not, how can we clarify? Did they get a takeaway that was unexpected? This might open the door for some fun insight into a Grands’ way of thinking or learning. Remember for next time.
Next, lessons are always learned over time, with repetition, and with maturity. Life lessons take on different, and often deeper, meaning as we grow and mature. We can watch that process with our Grands if we regularly tell stories and interact with them about what the stories mean.
Be Intentional About Storytime
You may not feel like you’re a great storyteller. Don’t worry, just start! You’ll find that young children are very forgiving of our imperfections and are excited to have time, attention, and creative interaction with you. There is no perfect, there’s what works within your relationship with your Grands. These days, there is a multitude of help online, too. Do a little research, practice doing unique voices for characters in books, and have a good time. Don’t forget storytelling is entertainment, too. Teaching while entertaining is one of the best ways to get young children to pay attention. They’re learning even when they don’t realize it!
Grandparents, get intentional with storytime. Find the books, movies, and family lore that will help share your family values with the next generation of your family, and have fun with it!
How are you using storytelling to teach family values and important life lessons?
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