Parents often wonder how much of their own childhoods they should share. Should you keep some of those “wrong doings” to yourself? The answer to this is in knowing your child and knowing what’s appropriate to share. If your child is six, you’re not going to be telling them about drinking so much in college and passing out, are you?
Many children see their parents as “perfect” and can’t imagine them ever doing anything wrong. For some children, they are so upset after they have made a mistake (i.e. lying, etc.) that they feel that you won’t view them as a good person anymore—that they have let you down. If you have a memory of that age and doing something similar, it doesn’t hurt to share some information with them. You may say that when your mom thought you were asleep, you were hiding under your covers reading with a flashlight. You can add more to the story about either getting in trouble because you got “caught” or even how tired you were for school the next day. Share your feeling so that you can make the connection with your child. Sometimes having a child understand that you made some mistakes growing up will help your child see that all people make mistakes and that they learn from them. You know your child and their personality. It greatly helps some children when you share some of the negative experiences in your childhood (i.e. when a friend was mean to you, when you forgot your homework, etc.). Just don’t go overboard with the stories. Let them absorb a little at a time! Keep the stories to their age level and just share stories of yourself, your friend or a sibling at the same age.
There is a kind of magic that happens when you tell your child a story! They are paying more attention to you than ever before. Their eye contact is strong. They don’t want to miss a word. And most importantly there is a bond that’s created through shared imagination.
Your stories don’t have to be long and complex, especially if you have a younger child. They like to hear the same story over and over! As your child gets older, expand on your stories to include valuable lessons for them. Not every parent feels that they have a great imagination and therefore never tells “stories”. If you feel that you fit in this category, can you think of some funny or silly things that happened to you when you were younger? Take some of your experiences and build on them.
If there is not a story that you can remember from your childhood, you can still tell a story. Stories are a very powerful tool to teach your child! If your child had a rough day at school, then make up a story about another child who had a similar day. Help them solve their problems by either providing a solution in the story or asking them what they think could help.
Storytelling not only teaches morals and values but is a tool that sparks creativity and imagination. Keep the lines of communication open!
HAVE FUN WITH YOUR CHILD:
Young At Art
The new museum is amazing! Imagination Activation!
At YAA, the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. Ride a subway, visit a cave and discover a dig in ArtScapes. STOMP to the rhythm, build sand sculptures and recycled puppets in GreenScapes. Learn about faraway customs in CultureScapes. Explore the world of Alice in WonderScapes. Create a masterpiece in every gallery!
751 SW 121st Ave. Davie, FL 33325 954-424-0085. http://youngatartmuseum.org/
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