Stories can come in a variety of different forms. They can be shared over a hot cup of chocolate on a winter’s evening. They can come from picture books, chapter books, images, songs or from television and movies.
Stories are like patches of a quilt. They are beautiful on their own, but joined together they can shape and add substance to our lives.
Sharing stories with your grandchildren is a fundamentally important way to connect with them, and create memories, which like the patches on a quilt, will join together to form a tapestry of your lives.
We see ourselves in stories
Whether you share fairytale stories with your grandchildren or you enjoy watching movies together, the characters in those stories will help your grandchildren to understand more about themselves.
When young children ‘meet’ a character in a book, they are being introduced to a different way of acting and thinking.
They may identify with this character or not – it doesn’t matter.
What they are doing is learning more about themselves and gaining a greater understanding of their own unique personality.
The child may think about Jack in Jack in the Beanstalk and wonder if they would have been courageous enough to accept a handful of beans for the cow or climb the beanstalk. They may feel sorry for the giant who is really only protecting his things.
Stories show children how to behave in social settings
The impressions the characters in stories have on children will influence the way they behave in social settings.
They may feel they need to be more courageous when it comes to speaking up in class or braver when it comes to making new friends.
As well, stories help children understand their gender and their social status. They can offer so much more than many adults realize.
Making sure that your grandchildren are exposed to a lot of stories is crucial for their sense of self-worth and their confidence. Stories are equipping them for the good and the bad life has to offer.