Storytelling Helps Emotional Development

Filed under: Emotional Development - 25 Apr 2013  | Spread the word !

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A new study released in March indicates that storytelling can have an important role in the normal emotional development of a child. The study indicates that when moms tell more elaborated and emotional stories to their kids, they actually help their young ones develop emotional skills. Researchers also found that there may be some differences between the story telling style of mothers and fathers and their connections with their pre-school daughters and sons.


Widaad Zaman, from the University of Central Florida, and Robyn Fivush, from Emory University, are the specialists conducting this new study. The two tried to compare the different storytelling styles of moms and dads and their effects on children. What researchers wanted to find out was how each parent elaborated his story and how much children showed an interest in what they were being told.

Researchers established a focus group formed by 42 families who agreed to take part at this study. Participating children in the study were between 4 and 5 years old. For the researchers to reach the expected results, parents were asked to talk about 4 past emotional experiences of their children, as well as two past interaction the child had with his parent. The 4 emotional experiences had to be different. They included a happy, a sad event, a conflict with a peer, as well as a conflict with a parent. Each parent had to complete the same tasks, talking to his child, but on separate visits.


After conducting the study, researchers found that mothers elaborated more when talking about past events with their children, naturally compared to fathers. So, mothers commonly included more emotions and emotional terms in their stories, explaining to their children what everything meant. Communicating to the child seemed more natural, mothers tending to explain to their kids the importance of feelings in that experience.

This is how researchers reached to the conclusion that mothers can better help their children work and talk about their experiences, compared to fathers. Regardless of the type of experience we may be referring to, mother have the ability to help children deal with their emotions, overcome negative experiences, as well as understand positive emotions.


Naturally, this is not the first research trying to determine the effects that storytelling, as well as reminiscing and interacting with children can have. However, this is the first study which indicates that there is a difference in the extent to which patents elaborated a story. Well, the results of this new study are quite important having under consideration the fact that mothers are well known to pay a crucial role in the normal development of their children.

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