Wednesday Wisdom

by Melissa on January 12, 2011

I can vividly remember my big brother and I asking our ma to read us Are You My Mother?  just one more time. It’s been 25 years since we moved from that townhouse on Killion Avenue, but it seems like yesterday that the three of us huddled on our parents’ bed as my ma read us that picture book.

When we grew older, my sister and I read, and reread, books until the pages fell out. I even brought in Anne of Green Gables to show my students last year what a well-loved book looks like. Tattered. Falling apart.

Now I’m all grown up. And I’m the one that gets to hear, “Read it again, Miss L!”

I’ve read my peanuts Mortimer, The Stinky Cheese Man, and Love You Forever so many times I know them by heart.

And now, after listening to Annie Fox interview K. Sean Buvala (author and award-winning professional storyteller), I understand why it’s so important to not roll our eyes, or grit our teeth when our kiddos ask us to read a story for the umpteenth time. When a child wants to hear a story again and again, Annie says “there’s something in  that story that the child needs to learn. They’re saying, ‘I need more exposure to that idea or that concept.’ What an honor that you’re the one transmitting that value.”

So many things that happen in our children’s world are out of their control. Children feel a great sense of comfort knowing that things are going to turn out ok, in this story at least.

I think back to that story now, and realize that every time our mom read us Are You My Mother? she was making a promise to my brother and I. She would always be there when we needed her. Even if we got lost, and confused, once we found our way back, she’d be waiting. We needed that life lesson then. And you know what? It still holds true today. She is.

To learn more about the many benefits of storytelling, or tips on how to make your stories better, visit Or read Buvala’s book: DaddyTeller: How to be a Hero to Your Kid and Teach Them What’s Really Important by Telling them One Simple Story At a Time. It’s a collection of eight fables, with helpful hints on how to easily learn the art of storytelling in a fun way.

It’s $15 on Amazon, 87 pages long, and it gives you the tools to strengthen your relationship with your child in the most amazing ways. Now that’s a deal.    

Melissa Spiegelman  is the founder of Tandem Teaching, where she provides strategies and solutions for parents whose children  are experiencing classroom struggles, and an expert consultant to the  USC/LAUSD/RAND/UCLA Trauma Services Adaptation Center for Resilience, Hope and Wellness in Schools. Melissa also teaches art playgroups for toddlers.  Contact her for a private coaching session.

{ 1 comment }

Queenie January 12, 2011 at 7:54 am

Oh! I love this.. I have many stories of students asking me to reread stories to them. Mrs. Queenie can we read it again!