I was chatting with a mom recently about children and things they like to hear about. And she shared that her three and a half-year-old was very interested in things that went wrong.
For instance – she would say to her mom – “tell me the story of what happened when the furnace broke down and we didn’t have any heat.”
And so her mom would repeat their “survival” story and how it was very cold, and so they put on extra sweaters and baked something yummy in the oven to help warm them, and waited for the repair man who finally arrived and fixed it.
I think of our young grandson listening carefully to adult conversation at the dinner table – then saying, “tell me that story again” especially if something unusual took place in it.
I like to tell the story of my own mother putting her homemade cake that she had baked to bring to a family gathering, on the roof of the car while she packed other things in the trunk. But then, closing up the trunk, she jumped in the car, and drove off, completely forgetting that the cake was still on top of the car.
Of course, when she arrived at the gathering, she realized what she had done. The cake was nowhere to be seen. It had fallen off the roof as she drove.
Was she sad? Oh, of course – but only for a moment. It was far too funny to be sad for long – and so everyone laughed and laughed. And perhaps, some lucky birds got to eat the smashed cake.
These types of shared stories instill a sense of resourcefulness, resilience, trust and humor in our children and our family. It’s about the fabric of our daily lives.
So think about it.
As parents, very often we are the “teachable moment”, the “memorable moment” waiting to happen for our children. When we share our own brand of personal stories with them – comical , adventurous, even preposterous – our children will be all ears.
Won’t that be fun?