Telling Your Kids Stories That Matter

Telling Your Kids Stories That Matter - Parenting Like HannahStory time is a parent child bonding activity that has existed probably since Adam and Eve told their kids stories. It’s a great way to calm kids at the end of a hectic day so they can sleep. It creates fun childhood memories. It can even strengthen the bond between you and your kids.

Story telling had a more important purpose in many cultures. Stories were used to teach kids important life principles without lecturing them. Aesop is famous for telling stories that teach. Jesus even used storytelling for teaching adults when he told his parables.

Sadly, this type of storytelling rarely occurs in modern homes. Some may read their kids a fable by Aesop from time to time, but rarely do you find a parent using storytelling in intentional ways with their kids. It’s unfortunate, because if you aren’t, you are missing out on a great teaching tool that is wrapped in fun.

You don’t even need a book for these kinds of stories. Tell stories from your life or the lives of relatives, friends or people you have known. Tell stories that have a purpose. They don’t have to be fancy. Your kids will love them because you are telling them something about you and times before they were born. You can even share the “moral of the story” at the end like Aesop or ask older children to tell you what they think the lesson in the story is – like Jesus did with many of his parables.

Still not sure what kinds of stories to tell? Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • A time when you realized God was awesome.  Were you in nature? Did God answer a prayer in an amazing way? Did He help you conquer something?
  • A time when you realized how much God loves you. Did He give you a special “gift” in a really hard time? Did you feel His forgiveness when you believed you didn’t deserve it? Did the reality of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus suddenly hit you for some reason?
  • A time when God helped you through a tough situation or season. How did God help you survive and even thrive?
  • The story of how you decided you wanted to become a Christian and your baptism. Sharing your thought processes and the experience can make it more understandable to your own kids.
  • A time when you realized God’s rules were to protect you and not to make you miserable. Kids often think rules are a way of preventing them from having fun. They need to understand God makes rules to keep them safe.
  • A time when you realized the benefit of being part of a church community. Your kids will be taught the individual is more important than the group and that churches and Christians are problematic. Your kids need to hear about all of the times your church family helped you.

There are hundreds of other possible faith stories you can tell, but hopefully these will give you some ideas to get started. Often when I ask young people why they rejected God and the faith of their parents, I hear the same reason. “I couldn’t see that being a Christian made any difference in the lives of my parents.” Storytelling is a great way to help your kids understand how following God will absolutely make a difference in their lives. So please, tell your kids your faith stories!

 

Published by

Thereasa Winnett

Thereasa Winnett is the founder of Teach One Reach One and blogger at Parenting Like Hannah. She holds a BA in education from the College of William and Mary. She has served in all areas of ministry to children and teens for more than thirty years and regularly leads workshops for ministries and churches. She has conducted numerous workshops, including sessions at Points of Light’s National Conference on Volunteering and Service, the National Urban Ministry Conference, Pepperdine Bible Lectures, and Lipscomb’s Summer Celebration. Thereasa lives in Atlanta, GA with her husband Greg, where she enjoys reading, knitting, traveling and cooking. Their daughter Katrina, who has been an integral part of their service adventures, attends Pepperdine University.

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