When you are an adolescent, it can be hard to see clearly. Every culture has their own stories that gets passed down from generation to generation. That is why you can hear the same story base and lesson with different twists to the actual story. Each culture has its own way of life which makes the story so relatable to the people in the culture.
Psychologist Michael Yapko, claims that ‘Stories as teaching tools have been the principal means of educating and socializing people throughout human history’. Stories are still an integral part of our lives. We buy books, visit libraries, and read tales of fiction or fact. We visit cinema, theater, and other shows to engage our minds and transfer in a completely different world of our fantasy.
How many stories do you remember from older family members about how things were back in the day? Were they aimed at teaching you lessons?
What are stories used to teach us?
We have used storytelling to teach our adolescents about our history. Do you remember learning about the story of Pocahontas in high school? It’s much more interesting to learn something through hearing an interesting story. We are more susceptible to retain the information we hear if we are actually interested. It can be boring to state information for learning purposes. No one wants to listen to that let alone actually learn it. Hearing the same information in a story will keep the listener on the edge of their seat just waiting to learn what is next. With children and teens, it’s important to find ways to engage them that actually work.
How the world began
Biblical stories, the Greek mythology, and the Australian Aboriginal dream time legends are all stories about how the world was created, how people came to be, and how animals came to be. If someone lives a life in the way of the Bible, then they would probably live in serious fear of damnation to Hell for living a sinful life. We hear stories about evolution and the dinosaurs who roamed the Earth before humans. All of these stories have helped people understand how everything was created and why it changed. Whether there is evidence to prove a story to be true or not, stories are a huge factor for teaching the younger generations about the older ways of life.
How to cope with abuse and trauma situations
Stories have been told to children and teens to show them positive and negative ways to cope with different situations. Many young abuse and trauma victims do not know the right way to handle these horrible situations that have happened to them or in front of them. Story Therapy and Art Therapy are influential to introducing positive coping mechanisms to handle hard situations from the past. Young children are often very confused about these situations and it is only natural. Stories can help them find their voice and their feelings, while teaching them how to process what happened and that they don’t deserve it. Talking about these situations is important for the healing process. Children and teens often do not know how to begin this type of conversation or they feel shame so much that they try to hide from themselves. Story Therapy helps open the children up by engaging them and interacting in a safe space with no judgment.
How to cope with stressful situations in life
Stories help people develop positive coping skills that way they can handle any type of situation later on in life. Can you imagine back in the ancient times how difficult it was to hunt and fish not knowing how to catch them? After a hard day hunting and fishing, the men would sit around telling stories of what methods were successful or which ones failed. The next time they would go out hunting or fishing, they would be able to use the successful methods which would save them a lot of time and allow them to catch more meat to feed their families. Stories work the same way for children and teens. We can tell many stories that they can relate to and they will see how to properly handle and manage stressful situations for the future.