Teaching your kids to write stories at a very early age is one of the most precious gifts you can give to them. Whether they grow up to be doctors, artists or exterminators the ability to write a story will ensure their ability to succeed in their career as well as their social life. As adults, we are gifted with an opportunity to instill the passion of storytelling in children daily.
10 parenting tips to encourage your kids to write stories.
1. Start by getting them to be comfortable with various writing materials.
Get them involved when you write by asking them to pass a pen, or the notepad, let them see you write everything from grocery lists to birthday cards.
2. Encourage them to cultivate their imagination.
By telling them stories that interest them, they will naturally start to fill in pieces of the story with their imagination.
3. Go beyond what's written.
Read well-known tales aloud to your family as a part of your routine. Let the stories be short and something they already know. Have your kids tell you about the characters in the story, ask for details beyond what's provided by the book.
4. Make storytelling part of your lifestyle.
Tell stories to your kids in the car, at the doctor’s office, or whenever you have a captive audience (or want a captive audience).
5. Have kids identify key parts of the story.
Ask your kids to repeat something from the beginning, middle and end of each story. This will encourage them be more attentive and establish their understanding of a story's components. Help them to see how the story relates to them and allow them to express themselves also.
6. Make writing a part of your family.
Because kids learn faster by modeling behavior, it is important that your kids see you write. Try as much as possible to write in their presence. Write thank you notes whenever possible and tell your kids about it. If they show any sign of taking the pen from you, encourage them to write anything down. Or start writing notes for their lunch box and have them write a reply back to you.
7. Create a writing environment.
Keep writing materials for your kids such as pens, chalk, markers, paints, etc. readily available. Pack writing materials together for them in handy places where they can easily reach them when inspiration strikes. If the kids know their alphabets set up a time to let them use your computer or tablet to draft a story.
8. Have writing time with them.
Plan to co-write with your kids a couple times a week. Set aside short periods of time, allow them to pick the type of story they want to write. To ensure the activity doesn't slip, be sure to add it to your family's reward chart app.
9. Teach them stories come in all forms.
Have them tell of events of their day at school, describe a cartoon they've seen, or let them indulge in a completely fictitious tale. Encourage them all the way not worrying too much about structure.
10. Print their writings.
When the kids see their stories in print, it encourages them to embrace the publishing process. Print out the stories your children write and have a time together where you read the story. They are likely to make corrections to the story after hearing it read out loud, allowing them to take pride in fine-tuning their work. They can even draw or paint pictures to go along with the story.
Stories can take us to a lot of places, near and far, wouldn't you want to take your children to wondrous places no-one's ever dreamed of? Especially when it's as simple as using a pen and paper to make memories with your child.