The power of stories

Have you visited the library recently? What about browsing through Amazon and iTune’s books section online? There are thousands, in fact millions, of book titles available to borrow or purchase.

What about cinemas and television programs? I grew up loving every single story from the Disney collections as well as stories from my elderly relatives about their childhood …

Some stories actually stayed with me as guiding and sounding boards, as reminders and lessons in life. I remembered stories about struggles, triumphs, happiness, sadness… sometimes in life we need stories as our guide to help us bypass hurdles or overcome struggles in our lives.

Why Stories?

Stories are a part of life and we learn by hearing stories. Stories relate to our emotions. Stories are also great entertainment. Remember Happy Potter? How many people followed the books and movies?

It is a great way to share messages, teach, persuade, impact and gently influence.

Stories – the tool to teach

I remembered attending my son’s ancient history introductory session; when we arrived, it was like walking into Aladdin’s cave, the lights were dimmed and the story began. Through the teacher, her tone, her voice, her expression, her description of the characters and events … ancient history suddenly became alive! The stories were so engaging, I even felt like enrolling in the Ancient history class myself…if I could!

My son enjoyed history, but never LOVED history. However, the way history was presented to him impacted his view of ancient history and he could view history differently.

Stories – impact and empower


“Stories are remembered up to 22 times more than facts alone”
Jennifer Aaker
Professor, Stanford Graduate School of Business

When we want to share a message with our children, we can either tell or nag them every day with almost poor results, or we can share with them a story and weave facts and a message into it.

For example, if we want to impart a message of hard work and perseverance to our children, we can either model our own life story, or our parents’ story, to our children, which is a fantastic way to go about it, or we can share a child friendly story that they can understand.

This is a good one to share – The Little Engine That Could [refer Youtube:], it is fun, and a child friendly format with a clear message – hard work and perseverance will get you there.

Your child may watch the segment over and over, and each time, they learn and absorb the positive message more. We may think it is just a story, but to a child, it may be the message or encouragement they need to overcome a particular issue.

Stories – Connections

Finally, spend the time with your child while watching or reading the story together, and take the opportunity to ask questions and to increase the awareness of the message of the story. For example, ask:

  • What do you think about the story?
  • When so and so talk about this, how do you feel about it?
  • If you were this character, would you have done anything differently?
  • Do you agree with the main character’s action? Why or why not?

Through stories, questions and shared experiences, you will have a deeper understanding of your children and a fun way to connect with them.

I would love to hear your feedback. What is your favourite story that you share with your children and what is the message you are sharing through the story?