Teaching through stories - a lesson in perspective

Pebbles and the pod had lived in the Swan River for as long as anyone could remember. Their ancestors had shared their river with the dreaming serpent, the tall ships, sea planes. Now the pod lived peacefully with the ferries, fisherfolk and families.

As a baby Pebbles stayed very close to her mumma playing all day. She learnt games like throwing seaweed, blowing bubble rings and rolling over and over. At night Mumma would nestle and cuddle her under the dark sky, silvery moon and the milky way.

As Pebbles got older Mumma showed her how to ride the waves off the boughs of the boats, play with the other young dolphins and learn how to speak using whistles and clicks.

All day long the young dolphins would tustle, jump out of the water and do flips. Pebbles loved her days just as much as the night when Mumma would nestle and cuddle her under the dark sky, silvery moon and the milky way.

One day, Mumma told her that today was a special day because she and her young dolphin friends were going to be taught by the pod how to catch food with the pod.

Pebbles did not think that sounded like a special day. "But I want to play with my friends and ride the waves all day"

Mumma explained that her friends would have time to play after the pod had caught their food.

"Why do me and my friends have to catch food? There are enough Mummas and Papas to catch food" cried Pebbles.

Mumma explained that Pebbles and her friends now had to be part of the team and play their part to make sure everyone had enough to eat.

But Pebbles wasn't listening because she was swimming away from Mumma and off to find her friends.

Mumma was upset and Pebbles was upset.

It is amazing how powerful stories are to teach our children about tricky concepts. I used this story this week with my afterschool classes to explore with the children the concept of perspective. We talked about how Mumma and Pebbles saw things differently and this was causing them both to get upset. We also talked about how Pebbles and Mumma could handle this situation. Story telling, like art is such a great tool cause it engages part of our brain that the tell method of teaching can not.

I made up a story about Dolphins because like people they work together to get things done and with our participation in Big Splash WA a campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues in our children. Check out the Big Splash campaign and come and say hello to us at the Art - Create and Play Pod if you come along on Sunday.

Would love to hear your experience of using story telling as part of your parenting toolkit.