An Example Of Effective Parental Storytelling

The effective use of parental storytelling was recently demonstrated to me in an e-mail I received from the mother of a boy who was part of the project from which I gathered the stories in Chapter

13, "Kids' Own Healing Stories." At the time of this story he was an eight-year-old who was terrified of birthday parties and never wanted to attend them (the Problem). His mother created a beautiful story-poem that follows the steps I've just described. First, she defined the Outcomes that her son wanted: He would prefer to go to birthday parties, be excited about the anticipation, and enjoy the experience of being there. She was then faced with the question of what steps the child in the story would need to go through to move from fear to enjoyment. She tapped into a skill or Resource that her son already possessed—juggling. Now, she had the basic ingredients—Outcome, Resources, and Problem—for crafting the delightful story that follows.

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