166: Using your Own Stories as a Parenting Tool // Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan
I have loved writing stories all my life. I even remember that one of my favorite Christmas presents as a kid was a little “become an author” kit where it supplied special paper for me to write a story and draw the pictures, then send the pages to a company that would bind it as a real hard-cover book. It was magic when my book arrived back to me in the mail! I felt like a real published children’s book author!
Well today on the podcast, I get to interview an actual real children’s book author who has a unique message for us about how we as parents can use stories as a tool to get to know our kids better and to teach and guide them--and she’s not talking about using pre-published children’s books...she’s talking about using our own made-up stories, whether or not we would consider ourselves to be writers.
Elizabeth Pagel-Hogan writes Fiction and non-fiction for many magazines including Highlights for Children, Muse, Cricket, and Spider. She also writes books for the educational market, from PK-2nd to high reading level middle schoolers. She is a mom of three kids, ages 15, 13, and 11...and I can’t wait for you to hear from her about how she has used stories within her parenting!
Three Takeaways to Use Stories as a Parenting Tool
Start with something you want to figure out about your child and then build a story around that. See if using a story to interact with your child around that topic can help give you some clues to get to know his or her needs better.
Invent a story about a character like your child, instead of calling him or her out directly. Remember this can even be an animal! As your child relates to the character in the story that is like him or her, he may learn lessons about courage, consequences, perseverance, and more.
Encourage your child to write a story about a character like themselves. This will give them the opportunity to express some of their pent up emotions and questions, and it will give you insight into what they are thinking about or dreaming about. It’s a great way to connect emotionally and creatively.
I know for some of you, writing stories might be way outside your comfort zone, but I encourage you to give it a try this week to see if it can help you navigate a parenting issue you’re struggling with. Get some paper and a stapler and get creative. You might be surprised at the outcome!