When Naia was born, I couldn’t wait to tell her stories. Unfortunately, I could never get the feedbacks of interests from her. Well, I always thought maybe because I wasn’t a good storyteller. Most of the nursery books are in English and since I spoke to Naia consistently in Bahasa Indonesia, I thought Naia wasn’t interested because she couldn’t understand it. I thought maybe because the story is not good enough or maybe because I shouldn’t be telling stories yet, since she was still too young. So I started with book of words. And since Naia was still breastfed at the time, I could never put her to sleep while reading her stories. All she wanted was just being breastfed to sleep. So I gave up!
Then I read an article while browsing through the internet (unfortunately, I didn’t keep the link) that storytelling is the most powerful activities you have in developing kids’ brain and imagination. Whether if the story is told from the book or from parents’ imagination, children need stories. I didn’t get it at first, until I weaned Naia and started to put her to sleep by telling her stories on things I know and how it relates to her daily activities.
I realized that it’s not the act of reading that’s important, it’s also the content. As Naia grows older, she understands stories. I can tell because she now can sit still for almost the entire show of animated movies like “Up“, “Madagascar”, “Finding Nemo“, and so on. She just couldn’t stop watching them and asks them to be played over and over.
Most of parents these days, would just do things as easy as turning on the TV to entertain the kids. Hey, that’s why they invented the Disney Channel, right? But do you know that what do kids are eager to get from the TV? Storytelling! Most of the shows are about telling stories as simple as an activity about going to bed. Now you wonder why your kids are glued to the TV? It’s their cravings for their daily dose of storytelling and whether you give it to them, they’ll get it from somewhere. Don’t you want it coming from the sources you trust and you can control? Like.. err, yourself?
With many hats we have to wear being a parent (a cook, a singer, and so on.. ), we also need to think of ourselves as a storyteller. The story can be as simple as about the act of going to school, or even about ourself, just tell it in a simple children’s words. They need stories and they are interested in hearing them because of these reasons:
- It helps them understand their place in the world
- It helps them to become socially proficient.
- Storytelling can be the perfect way to impart a life lesson.
- It helps them to cope whenever they are faced with difficult situation or experience
- It’s the most powerful tool to strengthen the bond between the parents and their child.
I find that I can send good messages by telling Naia a story when I put her to bed or when we visit the zoo or when we hangout during the day. A simple story about a frog who is happy going to school. Or about a fish who gets caught by a fisherman because he wouldn’t listen to his dad’s instruction (sounds familiar?). Or something along the line. And I find that I can tell it better and she was at awe the most when I told the stories from my own experiences or my own imagination than from a book.
So now every night, just after she finishes her bottle of milk, Naia gets up to her bed, gathered all the toy dolls around her then she asks.. “Mama.. critaaa.. “. Then I tell her story.. till she falls asleep…
“… si Kodok pun berenang di dalam air. Terdengar teriakan dari Fish, Turtle & Snail.. bergembira melihat si Kodok yang bisa berenang.. yaayyyy…. !! …”
Remember to add the hashtag #QuizTUMBuahHatiBooks and mention @theurbanmama on your tweet! The quiz ends by midnite tonight and we’ll announce the winner tomorrow via twitter.
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