Stories – The Best Part Of Childhood Memories

Stories form a major part of anyone’s childhood. You always want more and more of it.

Telling Stories To Kids - Stories - The Best Part Of Childhood Memories

Vacation times multiply this hunger many a times. Ever wondered why are stories so important? I feel they quietly let you slip into an alternate world. Based on your preference, of reading or being narrated to, you see the story happening in front of your eyes.

Story telling is an art. Not a lot of people posses it. Some people totally rock at this and some suck big time. As a kid, I loved listening to stories than reading them myself. My granny (mom’s mom) had only three stories in her kit. Whenever she visited us or we landed up in Bangalore for our summer vacations, she would narrate us those stories every single day. Surprisingly,  I never got bored of them ever. My mom is not that much of a story-teller, so that job was my dad’s responsibility.

My dad was a super busy soul when we (me and my sister) were in our ‘impressionable’ age. Whenever he got time he narrated a story or two from the epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. Stories of kings and wars always fascinated me. Through his stories I learnt about Ravana’s treachery in abducting Sita. I also learnt how Jatayu fought valiantly against the demon king just because he could not stand something that was not right.

My dad told me about how Dashratha had to suffer “putra-viyoga” for having put Shravan’s parents through a lot of ordeal. He also narrated the story of Abhimanyu’s bravery and how he almost defeated the big shots of the Kaurava army single-handedly before being killed treacherously.

He would end a story telling session, let our young minds ponder over it and bring up a question or a reaction to it. On the other occasions, he would ask questions which compelled us to think against what we were thinking till then. For e.g, he asked me once, ‘whether Ravana abducting Sita was justified or not’?

When I answered in the negative, he questioned me asking, ‘whether whatever Lakshmana did to Shurpanakha was justified of a prince and the younger brother of God himself?’ ‘Could he not have simply rejected her advances by telling her that he is married?’ And then all my logic would go down the drain.

Stories weren’t necessarily from the epics. He told us the story of Mother Teresa and her struggles and also of how Pele cried when he read a letter from one of his blind fans.

When I look back now, I realise the value of having heard stories from him. Stories not only entertain but also build and inculcate moral values. These values if inculcated at an early age go a long way in defining or shaping characters. But trust me, kids learn a lot and take to thinking bigger and better at an early age. Their imaginations get new wings.

So when you are reading your kids a story from a book take that extra effort and make it livelier to them. Make them a part of the stories and then see the glow on their faces.

Ashok Chandrashekar works in the IT industry in India. Loves travelling, photography and blogging when he is not sleeping. Happily married for almost a year now. He is here to observe and learn from other parents. This knowledge will surely be helpful for the future. 🙂  

  • Hello Ashok, Story telling is a real art especially when you have to narrate to children, who with their innocent minds and wings of fantasy can either motivate the narrator to weave in more or put him to an abrupt end. I used to love listening to stories told to us by our grandfather and like your nani, he also had 3 stories in his kitty – Alibaba and the 40 thieves being my favourite one! As a mom I have tried narrating fantasy stories filled with aliens and volcanoes to my kids and now I realise how difficult it is to ”make up” a story… wonder our grandparents stuck to 3 standard ones!!!

    • Ashok

      True Mehroo. Making up/ cooking up stories is well and truly difficult.
      My dad got lucky because he traveled all across the country and a lot of tales to tell. To this day .. kids stick to him like a moth to flame. I think it is the best and the easiest way to make friends with a kid. 🙂

  • Lovely nostalgic post. YEs, most of us grew up listening to stories. Like you said it imparts lifeskills.

    What you have written is something i did as a part of my proffession as a life skill facilitator. We used stories as medium but would not give out the moral , instead we would ask the children to come out ” what did you learn from this story”. Not just that, we would stop at crucial points and ask them to do roleplay, we would even connect it to reality. Story telling, apart from what you have said helps in communication skills by improving one’s modulation and language skills.

    Yes, story telling is an art:)

  • Ashok

    You hit the nail on the head Asha. 🙂

    Cant agree more with you.

  • Story telling is an art. Am working on how this stays back with organisational leaders to create impact. It is such an important art.

    the modern day age has had us outsource storytelling to TV and apps! The moment we take it upon ourselves to make our kids lives brighter, life will change. Not only for them, but for us as well.

    Thank you for writing about this and reminding us of something that we ought to pursue more! 🙂

  • Ashok

    You said it right Kavi. It is an important art and when we do it ourselves, the involvement from both sides (kids and parents) is more. So much can be taught via stories .. and in that process, even the parents an discover/ learn something new by developing such an art. 🙂