Social Skills from Storytelling

I love my job. I genuinely love what I do.

I get to work with educators who are changing lives every day. I get to watch the magic happen in between wiped noses and zipped zippers. That magic spot where a child feels fully heard and understood, with someone waiting as long as it takes for the story to be told.

Those are hard moments, right? Sometimes that story takes….. aaaaages. That little one looking up to you wants so desperately to tell you something amazing they just saw, something they just thought of, something that happened two weeks ago, something they need. RIGHT NOW! But they don’t always have the words, or the story comes out a little jumbled… 

You know the one?…

The connection between a child and the adult who spends the time to get to know them is like no other. Working out exactly what the littles in our lives are saying sometimes feels like a superpower or an unspoken language. Because that’s exactly what it is.

93% of communication is non-verbal


Now, I’m no math genius but that means that only 7% of what I’m actually saying is remembered, registered and retained.

Umm…. Then what am I saying all this stuff for?!

Paired with all the words, stories, and songs, are the snuggles, hands to be held, smiles and winks. And those contain the magic of the social-emotional development for the children we love so much.

There are those tiny gestures and expressions that tell us the story where the words haven’t come quite yet. And in those moments, reading those mini messages between the newly forming phrases is an opportunity for empowerment.

It’s incredible.

Although your mind is also moving a mile a minute with #allthethings that need to happen in a day filled with responsibility, know that you taking that moment with a child has given them an opportunity to blossom. It has filled their whole heart and sent signals to their brain like fireworks.

By listening to the story that took forever, you supported the child’s ability to:

  • identify and express emotion
  • identify and express needs and wants
  • regulate emotion
  • follow direction (through the general rules of conversation – you talk, I listen. I talk, you listen; taking turns, creating community)
  • focus and sustain attention

Take a quick scan over that list again because guess what? 

These are the skills we need to be successful in school, in relationships, in work, in adulthood. 

Yup. You are setting the stage for amazing things in this child’s future by hearing that story for the hundredth time.

You have set the foundation for the next story, the next moment when things feel a little bit hard and heavy, the next time they need support to work out what is going on around them, learning how to share what they want to say.

You are creating those wonder-filled environments (hear more on that here with a quick video) that are allowing that child to flourish.

So, that story that took forever, that took all sorts of twists and turns, that was almost the exact story you heard yesterday, and all the days before that… was a window of wonder.

Your job is hard. It takes incredible patience to do this, and the million other things required in a day. But in those mini-moments, you are empowering a child with the skills they need for the rest of their life.

I love my job. It’s hard. It’s exhausting. AND I get to have moments like this one. I get to watch someone like you having a moment like this one when I step into a daycare and watch it all unfold.

You empowered a child today. Who knows what they will do tomorrow.

Thank you for all you do.

I’d love to hear about your day, what you are wondering about and how I can help.

Let’s chat. Pop a comment in the box below – or over here on the contact me page.

Talk soon,


Children so desperately want to tell you something amazing they just saw, but they don’t always have the words, or the story comes out a little jumbled… and you also have a million other things to do. Click here to read about the development that comes from listening to this story, empowering this child and setting them up for the future.  #teacher #parent #ece #educator  #lifeskills #socialskills #emotionalskills #story #toddler #preschooler #infant

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