Each of us with a child has stories to tell!
Oh I am not referring to the stories you have to share with neighbors, relatives, colleagues and friends about your child.
I am talking about the ones your child wants to hear from you every night before going to bed, at the table when family is eating together, driving in a car or bike, plenty of other occasions I am sure. This is when the kid is a toddler or young adult, as they grow they need different stories told – ones about courage, compassion, love, journey, relationships, transition, transformation and allowing change among other things.
It also happens that as adults you get bored with sharing the same story to a toddler who would like to listen to the same story a million times in a row, all they are looking is to memorize and learn – hence that is a very important teachable moment in the history of your child’s life. You don’t have to be very creative about it, you just need to be an aware parent, not authoritative.
This is a fable written by Aesop and W Somerset Maugham interpreted the story in his own creative genius probably suitable and appreciated in those times. Appreciated or not, I am here to talk about how any story makes a difference to your child’s life. Moral stories have become a part of setting a benchmark for behavior, thoughts, actions, perhaps even feelings. So it does matter what story you tell.
My narration was as follows for my son who is four and half years old as I never really liked the punishing attitude of the story. It totally ruins the aspect of following one’s passion.
Once upon a time there was an ant named (whatever name my son pops that very fine moment) and a grasshopper named (feel free to fill the gap or allow your child to do so) in a beautiful lush town. The grasshopper was singing melodiously when his friend the ant passed by carrying some groceries home. “Hello ant, why don’t you hop over and listen to my music”, said the grasshopper when the ant replied that he was running errands for his mom and had to get back home as promised. Later that night after the grasshopper finished his gig he realised that he was hungry, and since he looked around and saw there was nothing he could find to eat he decided to go to the ants home.
Its me, grasshopper. I am hungry and it’s pretty late so I wanted to ask you if I could invite myself over.
Door swings open and the ant throws his arms open in welcome. “Ask and you shall receive my friend” he says. “I am so glad you came, what are friends for?”
Grasshopper thanks him and settles down to eat and says, “Maybe, I could play some music and sing for you after dinner.”
Ant said, “That would be great, I so wanted to stay back and listen to you earlier this evening and I wished so hard but look at how things worked out for us. I could get back on time and still get to listen to your music” This is fun.
Then I quietly add – See V, It is important to ask and able to receive. After all we are deeply supported and loved. It is good to follow your passion; help run errands and keep your word to yourself. and see, things are always working out eventually
V said, “I love myself mummy” out of the blue and added “I love you too” and went on to ask, “Where is ant’s mummy?
So I gently added to the script,” She is making dinner while daddy ant sets the table for all of them” ensuring he gets to understand shared partnership eventually when he grows up, knowing that home making and work need not be gender biased.
“Where are grasshopper’s mummy and daddy”, he continued.
I said, “They are at his home in a different place” to which he replied, “Oh! Is he going to sleep over?”
I contemplated the idea for a moment and realised I could have two options –
Plan A is ‘Caterpillar sleeps over’
Plan B is ‘Caterpillar goes home, and invited ant to a gig, where ant decides to pursue his passion too with grasshopper’s help.
I took what’s called an “Interval” with a suspense anti climax and told him, let’s continue after you get back from school V, and dropped him off at school. The story was narrated to him in a bear’s voice and my voice to make it more dramatic and enjoyable.
At the end of the day, when I hear him say that he loves himself, be expressive and acknowledge life and experiences as they come I think I have helped him take one little step to being wholehearted. So more stories to come and more learning, if you wish me to continue dear reader.
Originally written for my Blog : https://www.taurussource.com/blog