Benefits of Telling Your Children Stories

September 24, 2016

Pinocchio is one of the most classic stories for children. It tells the story of a wooden puppet who comes to life thanks to a good fairy who fulfills the wish of the old man Geppetto. Geppetto sends Pinocchio to school, but Pinocchio, instead of going to school, gets into a lot of trouble due to his lies and disobedience. In the end, Pinocchio learns his lesson and the good fairy rewards him by turning him into a real boy.

This story teaches children the value of telling the truth, being obedient and honest, and acting with love. Values are only a part of the benefits that stories can bring to children. The other part has to do with the development of creativity, the habit of reading, the improvement of writing, and the creation of shared, intimate moments.

“Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.”

-Erich Fromm-

Learning values

Children have a great ability to learn because their insatiable curiosity does a large part of the work, so we can use stories to teach them values like friendship, respect, sincerity, generosity, modesty, loyalty, etc. In this way, they will easily and enjoyable learn that every action must have certain consequences.

Through stories, children learn to know other characters, other cultures, and other ways of thinking and feeling, which will help them understand why they feel a certain way or why there are people who are different in terms of their religion, culture, and values.

It improves reading comprehension and encourages the habit of reading

Reading stories to our children helps improve their reading comprehension. This is a basic skill that blossoms out into a series of related abilities: mastery of the spoken language, pleasure reading, and critical thought. The development of reading comprehension provides children with the tools necessary for academic, professional, and social life.

Siblings Reading Together on Grass

Knowing how to read is not only having the ability to interpret letters and pronounce them correctly; it also means having the ability to understand what is read, to know what the author means, and to form our own opinion of this. Therefore, it is a matter of giving meaning to the text read and drawing our own conclusions.

Sharing moments together with children

If we share a moment reading each day with our children, we will strengthen the bond of affection and mutual understanding with them. This makes it easier for children to have the security to develop healthy self-esteem.

“Fairy tales are more than true – not because they tell children dragons exist, but because they tell them dragons can be beaten”

-Gilbert Keith Chesterton-

It improves writing

Reading and writing have a very strong connection to one another. A good reader tends to be a good writer. Writing allows children to organize their thoughts and express themselves. Writing also improves concentration and reflection, as it requires special attention.

When the Finnish school system decided to move all writing classes to the computer, thus eliminating writing by hand, it caused quite a debate. But even though new technology tends to eliminate handwriting, we cannot forget some of the benefits that this style of writing brings: it makes it easier to concentrate, our brain is activated, it allows us to take our time to think about what we want to say, it encourages language structure, and it has a connection to more natural movement for us than working on keyboards and screens.

Scientists at the University of Indiana conducted some experiments that proved that by writing things out by hand, more regions of the brain are activated and the learning of shapes, symbols, and languages is improved. Furthermore, as the authors of the study explain, handwriting helps people better express thoughts and ideas.

Finally, let us not forget that we all have our own handwriting. It may be nice or messy, but it will always be a unique way of identifying us.

Increase in creativity

Creativity is the generation of new ideas or concepts or of new associations among known ideas and concepts, normally producing original solutions.

Kids Flying Imaginary Airplane

Reading stories provides our little ones with the ingredients necessary for their imagination to get into gear and start asking questions, without their feeling a need to answer these to respond to a real situation. Moreover, through stories, they will come to know imaginary places, fantastic figures, and they will learn that the imagination has no limits.

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”

-Albert Einstein-