RE-RELEASE: Why storytelling is so important for our children

01.02.2022 - By Your Parenting Mojo - Respectful, research-based parenting ideas to help kids thrive

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“Storytelling? I’m already reading books to my child – isn’t that enough?”

Your child DOES get a lot out of reading books (which is why we’ve done a several episodes on that already, including What children learn from reading books, How to read with your child, and Did you already miss the boat on teaching your toddler how to read?.

But it turns out that storytelling benefits our relationship with our child in ways that reading books really can’t, because you’re looking at the book rather than at your child. If you ask your child what kind of story they’d like you to tell, you also get incredible insight into both their interests and concerns – I can attest to this, as I’ve been singing story-songs about poop and various kinds of baby animals who can’t find their mamas on and off for several weeks now (we had an incident a few months back where she couldn’t find me in a store).

In this episode we also discuss the ways that people from different cultures tell stories, and what implications this has for them as they interact with our education system.



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If we want our children to have the best chance to live fulfilling lives, that can you keep up with all the books and scientific research on parenting, and fit the information into your own philosophy on how to raise kids. Welcome to Your Parenting Mojo, the podcast that does the work for you by investigating and examining respectful research-based parenting tools to help kids thrive. Now welcome your host, Jen Lumanlan.

Jen Lumanlan 00:38

Hello, and welcome to the Your Parenting Mojo podcast. Before we get going with today’s topic on the subject of storytelling, I wanted to let you know about a little something I’ve been working on for a while now.  I think I’ve mentioned before that I was working on a Master’s in Education – well, I’ve finished that now and I’m actually not in school at the moment which is both amazingly freeing and rather strange.  I’ve mentioned before that after we made the decision to homeschool our daughter, whenever anyone asked me about homeschooling, they would always ask me the same questions, so I created a course to help families figure out whether homeschooling could be right for them – you can find more info on that at if you like.  But a lot of friends said “homeschooling sounds awesome, but I could never do it,” or “homeschooling sounds awesome but I don’t want to do it,” or just “we’re committed to public schools.”  When I asked them to tell me more about this they invariably expressed some kind of anxiety about this decision – kind of a “we’re committed to public schools but….” – they’re worried about class sizes and a lack of funding and the quality of the education their child will receive. And I thought to myself: “hmmm…what if there was a way to take everything I’ve learned during a master’s in psychology and another in Education and make it relevant to people who are committed to public school for whatever reason, but who recognize the limitations in the system and want their children to come out of public school among the 40% of 12th-graders who can read and do math at or above a proficient level, and not among the 60% who are at a basic or below-basic level.  Parents want to imbue their children with a love of learning, but research has shown that the toddlers who couldn’t stop asking questions basically stop being curious by about third grade.  Instead of asking why things happen or how things work, they learn that their job is to answer the teacher’s questions, rather than to ask their own.  And when I interviewed parents, I also found they didn’t know where to start in...

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