Growing Readers is a monthly article offering parents and caregivers information on early childhood development and how to foster young readers and learners.
Oral storytelling developed at the same time as human language, and it exists in every culture. Humans have an innate need to share their experiences. Those experiences can lead to understanding a situation the listener has never personally experienced. Kids who hear stories and experience emotions from that story have an easier time dealing with that emotion when it occurs in real life.
- Use stories, both written and oral, as examples of behavior you want from your child, as well as examples of kids who haven’t behaved well.
- Don’t be afraid to read books or tell stories with an element of scariness in them. Kids love an adventure and will be drawn to them. They can then learn to deal with unknown emotions in a safe environment with trusted adults.
“Time Now to Dream by Timothy Knapman is a picture book with an element of fear, which makes it a dramatic and entertaining read,” says Early Literacy Librarian Miss Andrea, “And it also teaches the important lesson of never judging a book by its cover.
“Kids listening to this book may have a slight increase in adrenaline from the excitement of being scared, similar to going down a roller coaster or watching a horror movie, but they are completely safe. Adults can use this opportunity to talk about feeling frightened, or about why the kids in the book shouldn’t have gone into the woods, or about not being afraid of something just because you don’t know what it is. Storytelling creates the perfect opportunity for a teaching moment.”