Lasting Stories

So the kids are in the car, the trunk is overflowing and it is off to…

Where ever the family is heading, together or separately, Summer is a time for oral traditions and story telling: campfires and ghost stories, backyards and maybe family memories, trips to a local park and a chance to see who can share a yarn and with much literature about the so called “summer loss” there are easy ways to not only encourage the retelling of a story but also to enhance the thinking process without turning “vacation” into classroom- even when by now- we do know that experiences are educational and informal experiences help the learning process to change and grow!

a Sample and the TBAR structure is optional: a “classic tale” shared:

Why do you think Goldilocks shouldn’t have eaten the porridge?  But she was hungry! So okay-


        Door was open                            Not her house

        Bears live in dens (no doors)    maybe story is giving a message?

        Too hot too cold                          just right

        Extremes                                      kids know how to connect

        Adults – argue (parents)            Goldilocks went for a walk?

         Porridge?                                     Do bears eat people food?

        Why do so many children’s tales have animals instead of people as characters? What messages do we pick up more subtly from a story or a tale than from a direct lecture? Could children- or as adults do we believe that children may even be faster at sensing situations than adults because they are not yet thoroughly conditioned to IGNORE their senses!  What as adults do we “learn” about social situations; how might these lessons sometimes be working against developing inter cultural respect (change Bear to monster – how many modern fables in recent years have kids playing with the “monsters” and how many have kids learning that they aren’t even monsters after all! ) And when in the classroom or at home or anywhere the story is interactively shared or retold, and the kids get to “roar,” “Somebody has been “eating my porridge, sitting in my chair, sleeping in my bed,”…etc. the kids laugh and laugh at –roaring, at being the big and rough and tough dad voice, at being the milder but still annoyed mom’s voice and then – and this is the funniest of all- making their own voices squeaky and younger sounding when being Goldilocks herself! So that the story has literally “universal appeal” because it is not only translated into multiple languages but because it is experienced by the story tellers, the listeners, the community and the global curiousity we all have to learn about one another and to discover same/different and to recognize that ‘humanity” exists- even part of the “natural world” where bears or monsters, and kids as people can connect in spite of adult ignorance and in spite of adults’ demarcations regarding who is acceptable and who might not be!

Maturity and reflections: kids absorb the message; adults recall the story; reflecting on any deeper suggestions takes thought and often experience and education in addition to time!  Summer- the word itself evokes- LEISURE- and when children and adults are granted time to play- “Magic” can happen!

Enjoy the magic!


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