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 Children's Stories That Teach Values

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Join date : 2011-02-03

PostSubject: Children's Stories That Teach Values   Mon Jul 25, 2011 3:35 am

Since even before books were invented, parents have been telling stories to their children, including tales that have been passed from generation to generation. Some of these stories actually started out as a way to teach children important traditions of the community. They helped reinforce such important values as being honest, working hard and obeying one's parents. Whether told to keep children's attention while helping with chores or to make long winter nights seem shorter, telling children stories helped build community spirit while also passing along important life lessons.

Once books came along, many of the stories which had been told aloud were then printed between the covers of books. Some of these same stories exist today, continuing to stress morals, values and lessons that emphasize the importance of good behaviors. They also discourage negative behaviors. In today's world, children see a bewildering amount of disconcerting behavior on television and other media. That is why the right books can help youngsters deal with challenges such as honesty versus lying, being messy or cleaning up after oneself - and so much more.

For young children, Aesop's Fables (at least some of them!) can be an excellent way to drive home positive messages to kids. Such stories as The Fox and the Grapes, The Tortoise and the Hare, and The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse make an impact because Aesop recognized that children relate to animals. It doesn't sound like a lecture when kids learn moral values by hearing about how a particular creature acted and behaved in a particular situation.

In The Town Mouse and The Country Mouse, for example, children hear about a mouse who is poor but lives safely, with enough to eat. At first, the fancy town mouse seems to have a better life, but when both mice have to flee from a cat to save their lives, the country mouse decides to go back and live in peace. This fable teaches children to think about their decisions and to consider whether material pleasure is worth sacrificing safety and security. Children instinctively learn these lessons as they think about how the animals behave.

Another story, Androcles and the Lion, focuses on a boy who removes a thorn from a lion's paw. Later, the lion nearly attacks the boy. But he realizes that this is the same child who helped him when he was in pain. Children hearing this fable can easily understand that kindness can be rewarded by other kind acts and that being kind can bring happiness to others.

Fables aren't the only types of stories which help children learn important values. Fairy tales have been used for generations to do the same thing. Many children have been fascinated by listening to such classic fairy tales as Cinderella, The Three Little Pigs and Snow White. Some parents might wonder why they should read with their children when DVDs and videos can be watched, some actually versions of the same stories. But books allow parents or grandparents and children time to go through the pages at their leisure. They can also stop and discuss how or why a certain person or creature acted or thought in a particular way. Finally, it is an excellent way to build bonds between the generations while passing on important moral messages and values.

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