Child Development and role of stories

Once upon a time, people began telling stories around the fire. The stories were as deep and dark as the woods where talking animals, elves, fairies and other enchanting characters lived. As time passed, the stories were collected and written down.

Many were made into movies. And then parents began asking: what is it about fairy tales? Aren’t they too violent and scary for impressionable children? And are Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Cinderella good role models? But that was far from the end. No matter how politically incorrect stories about evil stepmother, damsels in distress, and cannibalistic old women may be, fairy tales are here to stay.

And that’s a good thing, say the experts. “They work through so many personal and cultural anxieties, yet they do it in a safe, ‘once upon a time’ way,” says Maria Tatar, a professor at Harvard College who writes about, and teaches classes on, fairy tales. “Fairy tales have a real role in liberating the imagination of children. No matter how violent they are, the protagonist always survives.”

Indeed, as scary as many of these stories sound to parents, many scholars view them as helping children work through anxieties they can’t yet express. The famous writer and child psychologist Bruno Bettelheim believed fairy tales are important to children’s development because the main characters – many of them children themselves – demonstrate pluck, and the ability to triumph over adversity in a world of giants and cruel adults.

Whatever the stalwarts have to say the bottom line is “Stories” help children to cope with many feelings and problems.

Utility of stories

Stories can help children to deal with the problems and fears that they face in everyday life.

Stories help to develop children’s imaginations.

Story time can be a special caring time with parents that children will remember all their lives.

What the rational stories will teach the kids

Perhaps, the most unique aspect of my presentation will be use of REBT principles with young people, is how it teaches young people specific rational beliefs that will help them to become happier (less miserable) and fulfilled individuals including: self-acceptance, high frustration tolerance and other-acceptance. And all this is achieved by telling rational stories to children.

1.Self-Acceptance :

to never rate themselves in terms of their behaviour and to separate judgments of their actions from judgments of self-worth.

to acknowledge and accept responsibility for their traits and behaviours –both good and bad- without evaluating themselves as good or bad.

Help combat children’s tendencies towards self-downing by reminding them they are made up of many good qualities (and some that are not so helpful) and that they do not lose their good qualities when bad things happen.

Will explain to children that all human beings are capable and likeable in their unique ways and, therefore, it is good for children to accept themselves unconditionally without having to prove themselves.

2.High Frustration Tolerance

in order to be successful, they will sometimes have to do things that are unpleasant and not fun.

Will explain that frustration and obstacles are a normal part of life and that it is not helpful for them to think that life including school and homework should always be fun and exciting.

Will help children combat their belief that they cannot stand things they do not like and that they must have what they want immediately.

Reinforce them for frustration tolerance and delay of gratification.

3.Acceptance of Others

never to rate people by their actions and to separate judgments of people’s actions from judgments about their self-worth.

This does not mean they like everything another person does.

It means disliking another person’s traits and behaviours without judging the whole of the person as bad.

Ti will help children develop the attitude of preferring for people to behave fairly and considerately but never to demand and insist that people must act that way every minute of the day.

Will explain that people make mistakes.

Leave a comment