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Podcast Episode 158: 3 Types of Stories We Can Tell That Help Teach Our Kids with Sarah R. Moore

As parents, we want to do everything we can to help our children grow into happy and successful adults. One way we can do this is by telling them stories. Not only are they a fun way to relate to our kids, but they can also help teach them valuable life lessons.

There are three different types of stories that we can share with our kids:

  • preventative,
  • in-the-moment, and
  • retroactive

We’ll talk about each of these detail as well as how you can adapt your story to the age of your child and use it as a way to talk about difficult situations and feelings.

Why is it hard to teach kids about behavior?

There’s so much parenting advice out there and many of it goes against our instincts as parents. Some experts say the cure for bad behavior is a consequence. Many recommend putting children in time out. So what’s a parent to do when they’re trying their best and feel like they’re failing?

One, is to trust your instincts. If you want to raise successful kids and the advice says to ignore emotions – but that doesn’t sit right with you. You can decide not to do it.

Two, is to find what works for you and your family. Just because the experts say to do something a certain way doesn’t mean it will work in your family. You know your children best and what will work for them. Children learn from what they see.

Three, is to tell stories.

How do stories help with raising kids?

Telling stories is a great way to connect with your kids and teach them lessons. It’s a way to show them what you believe and what’s important to you.

When you tell stories, you’re encouraging kids in positive behaviors and good character, as well as showing that everyone makes mistakes.

When you tell stories, you’re modeling behavior and giving your kids something to aspire to.

How to Teach Kids Through Stories

Stories have been used for centuries to teach life lessons. Aesop’s fables are one example. They’ve survived so long because they’re simple, yet powerful. The same is true for the stories we tell our kids.

The best stories are the ones that are personal to you. They don’t have to be long or complicated. In fact, the shorter they are, the better. Kids have short attention spans and they’re more likely to remember a simple story than a long, involved one.

When you’re thinking about what story to tell, consider what lesson you want your child to learn.

Do you want to teach them about being kind?

Or how to handle disappointment?

Perhaps you want to show them the importance of hard work or perseverance.

Parents can tell these types of stories in different ways.

The type of story to tell to promote good behavior

How Preventative Stories Help Kids

Preventative stories help our kids stay out of trouble. They teach them about making good choices and avoiding bad ones.

The great thing about stories is that they don’t feel like a lecture, but rather this fun and playful way to be spending time with kids.

These stories can be used to help make parenting easier while teaching about a variety of topics, such as:

-the effects of too much screen time

-The importance of using sunscreen

-How to deal with bullies

When you’re telling a preventative story, it’s important to make the main character someone that your child can identify with.

You also want the story to be relatable to your child’s life.

For example, if you’re trying to teach your kindergartener about using sunscreen, you might tell a story about a time when you forgot to put sunscreen on and got sunburned.

A story to use to help teach good manners

How to Use in-the-Moment Stories to Raise Children

In-the-moment stories help our kids deal with difficult situations as they happen. This might be where a situation is unfolding right now, and these stories can help you get things back on track.

For example, if your child is hitting their sister, you might tell them a story about a time when you were angry and hit someone. You can then talk about how it made you feel and how there are other appropriate ways to handle anger.

Other examples of situations where in-the-moment stories can be helpful are:

-When a child needs to wash their hands quickly, but doesn’t want to get up from the couch.

-When a child needs to eat breakfast and tends to be a little picky,

Be playful with this! A great tip for raising happy kids from Sarah Moore, author of, Peaceful Discipline: Story, Teaching, Brain Science and Better Behavior, is to use these stories to change the mood from tense to fun.

For example, she wanted her daughter to wash her hands, she says, “the difference was rather than yelling angry words, I yelled, ‘Come wash your flippers! We don’t want to have that penguin problem again.’ Pardon me? Like what just came out of my mouth? But next thing you know, I had a child standing next to me looking up at me eagerly like, ‘What are we doing?'”

Parenting without shame

Retroactive Stories Help Kids Learn From Mistakes

Sarah likes to describe this as the gentlest form of behavior correction. Retroactive stories help address the behavior without shaming the child and play an important role. They help our kids learn from their mistakes and make better choices in the future.

For example, if your child breaks a toy, you can tell them a story about a time when you broke something and the other kids were really mad at you. You can talk about how it felt and how you fixed it or replaced it.

Or you can make up a story about a kid giraffe who broke a toy at school. At first he felt very sad and his friends were mad at him. But then, a huge elephant appeared to encourage him to find a way to fix the toy. The giraffe eventually found a way by asking for help and his friends forgave him.

Retroactive stories help our kids learn from their mistakes and make things right again.

Telling Stories Helps Raise Successful Kids

Telling stories is an important way to help raise successful kids. We should make sure to tell our kids lots of different kinds of stories, so they can learn all the valuable lessons they offer.

We can use stories to our advantage. They are a fun way to spend time with our kids and help teach them important life lessons. So let’s make sure to keep telling them stories!

As we’ve shared, storytelling is a powerful tool for parents. It can help our kids learn valuable life lessons, and it can also help keep them out of trouble.

So, what are you waiting for? Listen to this podcast episode with Sarah Moore to learn more about how you can use these stories to help your child grow into a good person with a high sense of well being.

Resources We Shared In This Episode:

Peaceful Discipline: Story Teaching, Brain Science & Better Behavior by Sarah R. Moore, MFS

Don’t Do The Holidays Alone! – This 3-day challenge from November 15th-November 17th, 2022 will teach you how to reduce your holiday stress, communicate better with your family and enjoy the magic of the holiday season once again (instead of stressing over everything that has to be done).

Calm & Happy Parenting Time to get your kids to listen and help out more without the fighting!  This is your complete solution to shift the responsibility of “doing everything for everyone” to your family and to give you the kind of relationship you want with your kids and the entire family!

No Guilt Mom YouTube Channel Watch the podcast episode on our YouTube Channel! While there, check out everything we have and subscribe to be notified every time we have new videos added for parents and kids!

Happy Parent Checklist – This FREE checklist gives you the step-by-step plan to delegate more to your family, feel less overwhelmed and connect in a positive way!

Download the episode transcripts HERE!

How to strengthen your daughter’s mental game– This is a FREE training from Breanne Smedley to teach you what to say and do to help your daughter overcome her mistakes, release all the pressure and flip negative thoughts so she believes in herself as much as you believe in her! You can check it out here: https://trainhergame.com/noguilt

Listen to The Elite Competitor Podcast HERE

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Brie Tucker

COO/ Podcast Producer at No Guilt Mom
Brie Tucker has over 20 years of experience coaching parents with a background in early childhood and special needs. She holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Central Missouri and is certified in Positive Discipline as well as a Happiest Baby Educator.

She’s a divorced mom to two teenagers.

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