Thursday, August 4, 2011

Tell Me A Story

C is getting to an age where she loves to hear a story.  This has come in quite handy recently.

The other afternoon, she was beyond tired and overstimulated and just could not stop herself or quiet her body long enough to let sleep come.  I wrapped her in a bear hug.  She screamed in protest and fought to escape the hug.  Then I started whispering a story in her ear in a soothing sing-song voice.  She instantly stopped screaming and struggling.  She relaxed into my arms, enjoying the story.  I continued telling stories, choosing the familiar fairy tales like Goldilocks and Red Riding Hood for minimum thought on my part since I was also exhausted and on the verge of falling asleep.

On Tuesday night, I needed her to go to the bathroom before we got in the car for a long ride.  She didn’t want to.  I started telling a story, interestingly enough about a little girl who didn’t want to go to the bathroom and the mean mean mommy who wanted to help her go.  She said, “You’re not a mean mommy, you’re nice!” and cooperated with our bathroom trip as I continued weaving a silly tale starring this little girl.

Social stories can be a useful tool for teaching lessons.  I’ve used them to prepare C for new situations, like going to the nursery for the first time, or anytime she’ll be staying with a babysitter.  I’ve used it just before going on a play date to rehearse how to deal with taking turns and sharing toys.  I used it for addressing her propensity to throw things when angry. 

Last but not least, reading aloud from a chapter book has been a new addition to our bedtime routine.  We all snuggle together on the bed and DH reads from Little House on the Prairie.  C listens, wiggling and flopping around at first, then laying in the crook of DH’s arm to look at the pictures as she gets more and more drowsy.  Eventually she slips off into dreamland.  It’s a wonderful way to end the day.

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