Storytelling with your family

Grunchy Bunchy Drawn by TJ

In this modern age, we must be aware of our stories and how to share them. This is a rich topic and one you must start teaching your children early. Tell them stories, teach them how to tell stories and teach them the difference between truth and fiction — teach them.

Grunchy Bunchy Drawn by TJ

Grunchy Bunchy drawn by TJ Summer 2019

Grunchy Bunchy

Let me introduce you to Grunchy Bunchy, a mischievous goblin who encounters all kinds of trouble. He hasn’t aged much, having been around more than 20 years, and he hasn’t made it much past the age of 6. His Momma has not aged well however. Grunchy Bunchy has a variety of adventures. (No, you may not have him, he is a story of the heart from our family and one other, but we will occasionally share his story of the day. And, ain’t nobody got my shriek, just ask my boys.)

You see Grunchy Bunchy, the mischievous goblin, has a story arc. His story is framed with special sounds and phrases and mischief. Nothing matters so much in the story as the framework. There is screaming, profound and not recommended for a bedtime story, but my children loved it. Grunchy Bunchy always gets in trouble and, somehow, he always teaches his Momma something when his mess is resolved.

The Power of the Story

And, oh my God-ess, storytelling preserved Pagan folklore throughout the ages and the burning times and all that history that meant that our stories were not written down. Storytelling, or bardic work, is so profound. If this is the only legacy you pass to your children, please do it. Do it for them, do it for our history, and do it for yourselves. Stories around campfires are wonderful things. Sometimes even the most trivial stories — that time your Momma threw the dishrag at  you — can be the most meaningful for your children because they see you beyond your role as an adult caregiver. And you can embellish it. And you don’t even have to make it up — you can read during naptime and retell those stories at bedtime. No expertise is needed.

There are plenty of resources available to support your storytelling. Here are a few:

https://www.well-storied.com/

https://www.mensaforkids.org/teach/lesson-plans/the-art-of-storytelling/

Children in a Group Outside at Sunset

Children in a Group Outside at Sunset

https://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/celt/cml/index.htm

http://www.alantours.co.za/listings/african_myths_and_legends

We also have a few favorite books and authors: Graeme Base, The Rainbow Goblins, Polka Bats and Octopus Slacks and more…

You know a storyteller, although that person may not display that skill all the time. Practice your stories, change your stories, make this a craft. I still feel anxiety telling a Grunchy Bunchy story, nearly 25 years later, but I always find joy in being that vulnerable and sharing an important part of our family’s tradition. We will listen, we will help you. Tell your stories.

 

 


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