Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Storytelling

Someone once asked me in my first few years of parenting what the hardest part of being a parent was. I quickly thought of the lack of sleep, the non ending discipline, and the changing of dirty diapers. In the end, what I answered was this: "The fact that they are always watching you."

Honestly, if you had to ask me, most of my parenting wisdom I've learned over years, besides just the experience, has been through watching others do their thing, and listening to others tell their stories. The wisdom of the Bible nicely encircles it all and gives me boundaries in which to work in. It also helps fill in all those gray lines. I do plead for the Lord's strength, and that helps, as well. :)

In some ways, the realization that what my children will be learning will be mainly through watching me and listening to me is powerful, yet troubling. I am a sinner, and they see my sin daily. Sometimes I'm not so sure I want them to be learning from me.

In a way to creatively parent my children, I can see the power of storytelling in their lives. Stories guide us and teach us without giving advice, and inspire us without preaching. The Bible is a book of stories, and yet it is also the inspired Word of God. That makes for a fabulous combination.

I'm always trying to look for ways to teach my kids without preaching. Oh, of course there will always be preachin'...I'm a mama, you know. But to really get the message across, I need to pray that their heart will be open, and then I can sneakily naturally share some truths through my stories.

5 comments:

Terry said...

"The fact that they are alwyas watching you." How true! Until I actually read the words I'm not sure I would have said that's the hardest part of parenting, but it is. I think for me, seeing a wrong attitude or habit in my child that I know they got from me is indeed a convicting and sobering reminder of the seriousness of the task before me. Thanks, Andrea for reminding us that they are always watching us.

Beck said...

It IS the hardest part of parenting! There are so many character traits of mine that I pray they never copy.

Amy Jane (Untangling Tales) said...

Ha!

If you've read my back stuff you *know* how I feel about stories :o)

The right one will always say just what you need. Te trick, always, is finding that right one ;o)

Do you know there is a book all about using stories to communicate? It's called The Language of Love, I believe, and I think it's by Gary Smalley

Brenda said...

I think that's the point of those verses in Deuteronomy. As you go about your business...that's how they learn.

A few years ago we gave my parents 2 jars full of little slips of paper with memories from our childhood on them. They opened their jars once a week all year. My mom said it was so strange to her the things that stood out to us. I think about that all the time...what will my kids take away from this house? It might not be the things we think!

Grafted Branch @ Restoring the Years said...

Oh yes, Andrea! I'm just recently recognizing how powerful, yet non-threatening stories can be.

All the worst things I want my children to be wise about, but don't want to scare them with, are best introduced through stories.

The Old Testament, Aesops...even some Grimm's Fairy Tales, perhaps.

This is a post we can all learn from.