Posts Tagged ‘story telling’
Story telling has been around for centuries. Ancient folk tales and fairy tales were first told by gifted tellers intended to relate meaning to people’s daily lives. But in modern times, with the abundance of television programmes and streams of online content it seems that traditional stories, in the form of books, are dying out…
A recent study shows that 1 in 3 children don’t own a book and 25% don’t believe reading is that important. Who cares about dungeons and dragons when 74% of young people have internet access at home and can learn everything they need with a simply Google search! But what effect is this having on our society?
When I was a kid I loved Greek mythology. My favourite story was Theseus and Minotaur. At the time, it was no more than a story about a warrior killing a beast hidden in a maze but after exploring the psychology of storytelling as part of my dissertation I learnt it was so much more.
Theseus was my hero. He was courageous and caring but most of all wise enough to know that defeating the Minotaur required planning – a great life lesson (He also didn’t fall for the pretentious princess.)
Stories are a metaphorical crash dummy for life. They teach children lessons about greed, about love but best of all it allows the child to see what the consequences of an action might be. They allow us to play with ideas.
Bruno Bettelheim; states in his book ‘The uses of enchantment’:
“The child identifies with the hero not because of their goodness, but because the hero’s condition makes a deep positive appeal to him.”
A child who doesn’t read books is robbed of the wisdom that a story can offer. Television creates the images for a child whereas a book allows the child to mould his own story; one that best suits his or her own concerns. My Theseus is not the same as yours.
It’s easy to tell a child being bullied at school that he should go and tell a teacher or confront the bully himself but this is likely to cause more stress. Instead, read him a tale where a relatable character overcomes an impossible task and he may just gain some courage of his own.
Our Team v leaders are helping young people all round the country to embrace reading in order to improve their literacy skills. Literacy is vital in all aspects of life but for me it’s the fantasy therapy that is of most value and not just restricted to children.
What’s your favourite childhood story and why? Leave a comment below!
Watch Team v’s latest video on their latest campaign to change the world through literacy and storytelling:
Find out more about how to get involved in World Book Night.