Storytelling is not only used for getting a better grasp of the language, connecting us and add meaning to our lives. What’s interesting is that we actually calm down when we hear stories and it can be quite magical.
A grateful magician
I used to work in a kindergarten for a while. To me, the power of storytelling often dumbfounded me. People often relate to magic as illusionists, mentalists, hypnotists, people who cast spells like Harry Potter and anything we find unbelievable, but fascinating. But, nothing is as magical as seeing children, and grown-ups for that matter, engaged in a story. To me, it is a grateful experience where I feel like a magician wielding stories out of my mind.
The children would look at me in wonder, and in their contemplation of the story, they found ease and a sense of being present because you cannot listen to a story and not have your attention towards the words being said.
A great story vs a poor story
A great story invites you to consider your opinion. Meaning, –you are listening to you. In stories you can empower them to be anything they please and more than they ever could imagine, least of all the parents who don’t see possibilities and only problems.
A poor story is judgemental and opinionated and gives no room for you, the listener, to add yourself to the mix. Which we always do. Grown-ups nor children like to be told what to do but, but in a story which is told about a certain person and what happened to them, we have the opportunity to reach the conclusion for ourselves, to see possibilities that the storyteller was invested in sharing with us in the first place.
Not only is storytelling an art form so is the being able to see possibilities. I grew up with storytellers in my family and their friends. Not everyone are that lucky.
Tell me again
What the kids loved the most was when I told them graphic stories of what had happened to me or someone I know. Like how my aunt, had hair down to her behind when we were 10 years old and would pull her hair forward when she had to go to the toilet. As girls, we were quite chatty and kept each other company during the summer holidays, even in the bathroom, but I never got used to her pulling her to the front of her as she sat down on the toilet.
I could tell this story again and again and they would still ask for more.
They were not only listening with their minds and ears, they were listening with their whole body.
That is why storytelling is used for a good nights sleep (or not, depending on the story), teaching moral and keeping children safe from dangers out there. As a parent, I do love the empowering stories and the children can like them as well, but give them a good scary one and they will read it again and again.
That is a story for another time.