Articles

Thursday, 07 February 2013 20:24

Children, Stress and Storytelling Featured

Written by
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Children, Stress and Storytelling

The holidays are over and the kids are back to school. Their stress level is high and perhaps will get higher. Kids do not get stresses you say? Wrong! They get stressed just as much as adults. Aside from kids and adults, pets can get stressed too. That’s why pet CBD companies have developed products to help ease the pain for our furry companions.

Research suggests that stress plays a role in every child’s development leading to a whole range of mental problems. According to US Surgeon General David Satcher, one out of ten American children suffer from mental illness and stress is one of the leading causes. And findings by Professors Reunette W. Harris and Charles Nemeroff suggest that stressful childhood experiences can effect an individual’s response to stress later in life. These experiences can be positive or negative.

Clarissa Pinkola Estes, a Jungian psychoanalyst, believes that stories we tell are “healing machines” which help us to manage our stress among other things. Ongoing research is looking at how families tell stories and how this telling helps to make kids more resilient and able to handle stress. One researcher believes that telling stories both good and bad show kids that even though bad things happen, you can go on and find a way to survive.

Novella Ruffin, an Extension Child Development Specialist at Virginia State University, says that children experience extreme stress and have bad feelings just like adults. But unlike most adults, children lack the skills or means to understand and manage their stress. They rely on their parents and other adults to help them.

So, how can we help our kids manage their day to day stress? One way is to have a family storytelling session every evening. You do not have to have anything elaborate, just pick an area where everyone would feel comfortable. It could be at the dinner table after supper, in the family room or in the living room. If you have children that share a bedroom, perhaps you might want to do it just before their bedtime.

If your children are not delighted with the idea, then you may have to start off slowly such as just talking to them and asking them questions about their day. Do not press them to participate. Then as they become more comfortable read them a story or tell a story yourself. With practice you can increase the length of the time you spend and start to encourage the children to join in by getting them to tell stories about what happened to them during the day. Make positive comments about the kid’s story. Do not try to interpret the story or suggest improvements. Just accept the story for what it is and enjoy it.

Your family storytelling session can become a favorite pastime and looked forward to by all members of your family.

References:
http://www.emory.edu/ACAD_EXCHANGE/2001/aprmay/stress.html
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/family/350-054/350-054.html
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/fcs/human/disas4.html
http://www.e-bookdirectory.com/books/storytelling.html
http://www.nursingcenter.com/library/JournalArticle.asp?Article_ID=112009#39


By James Foster Robinson - - Original Source


Click here to return to the index of Articles


Read 95 times Last modified on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 20:29

Comments powered by CComment

Latest Posts

  • The Creative Industry Needs to Look at Things Differently Post Budget 2022
    On 29 October 2021, the Finance Minister, Datuk Seri Tengku Zafrul Tengku Abdul Aziz tabled Budget 2022 in the Malaysian parliament. RM50 million has been allocated for the arts and culture industry. This comes after a year and a half after the entire industry came to an absolute standstill. With…
  • ‘The Covid Positives’ – life lessons learnt from the pandemic by Phanindra Ivatury
    After a long drawn battle with the biggest catastrophe in our living memory, global humanity is finally getting to see some quintessential ray of light at the end of the treacherous tunnel in the form of COVID-19 vaccines, currently being rolled out to all parts of the globe. A ‘COVID-19…
  • Chaos of Whole Books
    Is it possible to read several books at once? Aneeta Sundararaj finds out. When I was a child, my cousin used to boast that he could read four storybooks at a time. As an adult, when he invested in an e-Reader, he continued to boast that he could…
  • Writing for You? Or for Me?
    Writing for You? Or for Me? ‘You must always write with your reader in mind.’ This was one of the first pieces of advice that I received when I began my writing career. Honestly, I found this extremely hard to do because more often than not, I couldn’t picture my…
  • One Book That Changed My Writing Life
    My latest novel, The Age of Smiling Secrets was shortlisted for two categories in the Book Award 2020 organised by the National Library of Malaysia. When I reflected on the journey that this book has taken, I acknowledged the enormous influence of one of my all-time favourite books, Joseph Anton:…