Encouraging Desired Behaviors

Another value for communicating with therapeutically crafted stories is that, in the process, they teach children patterns of behavior and skills that are, hopefully, useful for their maturation. Storytelling is not authoritarian and thus enables a greater feeling of equality in the relationship. The child is not being told what to think, feel, or do but is encouraged to think independently. An opportunity is available to his or her own ideas and attitudes. Metaphoric stories, thus, help foster greater problem-solving and decision-making skills. What is the character going to do? How is she or he going to solve this problem? Will this approach or that approach work best? What are the likely outcomes?

Such questions have the child searching for answers, testing his or her own potential solutions against those of the character, finding what is helpful and what is not. In this process of creating possibilities, weighing up options, and looking for solutions, the child is learning the skills of decision-making. What does the character need to do to fix the problem? How may he or she find the solution? In journeying with a character through these questions, children learn to weigh the possibilities and probabilities and to make their own considered judgments, and thus prepare themselves for the independent decision-making skills they will need throughout life's journey.

0 0

Post a comment