Sometimes, I encounter the idea that it's important to talk to children about the bad stuff going on in the world. "They're going to hear about it." And sometimes, they do. No matter how careful we are about turning off the news, about keeping conversations about world events to later at night when little ears aren't around, these things creep in. I believe strongly in allowing childhood to be a protected time, especially while children are young.
But how do I propose to prepare children to deal with a world that has big, hard, scary things in it? Children are surrounded by horror in so many places in our world, perhaps in the house down the street, in the classroom, here in our own cities and towns, and across the globe. I am frightened by the news, worried about the world we are giving our children.
That's why I tell stories.
That's why today, when faced with a room of beautiful children, I told the story of a little marsh duck who was unafraid of the freezing, death-dealing cold of winter. Fran Stallings has some encouraging things to say about the power of this story to grant courage and strength in the face of fear. And then, I told a story about Opossum's gorgeous tail and his immense pride which made them laugh. Laughter -- true, loving laughter that pokes fun at the powerful and prideful, not at the weak or frightened -- is a weapon against fear and oppression.
I want to share some stories with you all, brought to us by the generous folks at Sparkle Stories. We're on the same page, these storyspinners and I.
Protect the children, equip them with stories of courage, wisdom, and truth, and watch them step into the world with confidence and grace to solve the problems we adults despair over.
Sara is a storyteller, writer, artist, teacher, wife, mother, and singer living in Minnesota. I write about storytelling, and about living a life with stories.