9 keys to enjoy family stories

The arrival of the holidays is a good time to introduce or reinforce the habit of reading or telling stories to the youngest of the house. Nowadays, it is possible to find a wide range that may hinder the choice of the best readings, but we will always be right if we resort to traditional fairy tales.

Formerly, fairy tales were part of the emotional and intellectual development of the child. They were truths treated of behavior and coexistence to decipher enigmas, undo grievances and solve problems. The true fairy tales convey human archetypes and diverse situations that, throughout history, are repeated over and over again.

They enter directly into the imagination of the child and help him to conceive and imagine fantasies, many of which contain anguish and fear that the child may feel, but does not know how to identify or verbalize. Through these stories, you will reach reassuring solutions: triumph in front of the wolf (Little Red Riding Hood), beat someone evil or overcome the fear of abandonment (l Hansel and Gretel) ...

The rich language of these stories is also very valuable: as the child's vocabulary grows, his capacity for experience and creation increases. In addition, they will allow you to form an extensive vocabulary, give meaning to the grammar and structure of the sentence, and your understanding of the language will be greater.

9 keys to enjoy family stories

1. It is much better that stories are told and not read. The stories told have a more added richness that is the human quality that contributes the one that counts, and that is unique.

2. Avoid dramatizing excessively. Although it seems to us at the beginning that we get more attention from the child, in reality the child internally generates an emotion that surrounds him more than the story itself, as well as transmitting negative or positive moral connotations that the child should value on its own .

3. Repeat the same story several days in a row, this way we give the child time to go deeply into that meaning of the story. Fables are cautionary tales, they always convey a message.

4. Avoid giving explanations of what we have understood that the story tries to convey, we hinder the process of internalization and understanding of the child and the child's own individual.

5. If we read a story, for example, before going to sleep, let it be just one. In this way, the child goes to sleep with that image created inside.

6. Look for the original stories. Currently we tend to soften and distort the images of these stories because they seem "grotesque" to our children. It happens, for example, with Little Red Riding Hood and grandmother, eaten by the wolf: this does not mean more than when you get confused, you get confused on the way, your wisdom (represented by the grandmother) and your purity, innocence (represented by Little Red Riding Hood) can be 'devoured' by your most negative part. "The child needs to hear it: if we do not dramatize, we do not live with fear," says Raquel Rodríguez.

7. In case of illustrated stories, look for smooth, simple images, that have to do with the images we have in real life. This type of illustrations can be found, for example, in the publishers ING Ediciones and Rudolf Steiner. The illustrated stories are especially recommended up to 3 years old.

8. Create a welcoming and trusting environment, loving and quiet where the child is prepared psychically for something as special as what you will receive with the story and be completely delivered to this moment.

9. Up to 9 years, the story must have a happy ending, to contribute to that trust necessary to have enthusiasm and to be passionate about the challenges of life.

Raquel Rodríguez. Founder and director of the Allegra Free School. Teacher of Infant and Teacher in the Master in Waldorf training at the University of La Salle.

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