STORYTELLING OPENS DOORS OF COMMUNICATION
By Paul M. Kramer, Aloha Publishing
Aloha Publishers LLC, 848 North Rainbow Boulevard, #4738, Las Vegas, NV 89107
Published in the Spring 2014 E-magazine edition of the Articles and Archives of
How can we help our children learn valuable lessons that would minimize and possibly save them from experiencing more pain and anxiety than they would have, had they not received a helping hand? There isn’t an easy answer to that question. What works well for some can alienate others. We are all different. Our backgrounds, our drive, our heritage, our core beliefs and our role models are different. Our differences are what set us apart. It makes us individually special. No two snowflakes are exactly alike and no two people our exactly alike. We are all uniquely ourselves with mostly good and sometimes not such good traits and qualities.
We also have many commonalities. We all want to be loved. We want to be liked and respected by our peers. We want to feel that we are worthy and deserving. We desire to be at peace with ourselves and the world. Everyone deserves to be happy and can be happy if they allow themselves to be. We were all born equal. No one is any better than anyone else. Some of us may have had more opportunities than others; however, many rise far and beyond their road blocks and obstacles and achieve happiness, wealth and a sense of satisfaction and purpose.
I don’t know how most people react when being told you must do this or you must do that, but my natural instinct is I don’t have to do anything; “I’ll do it if I want to do it, not because you are telling me that I have to do it.” It is often said, that it is not necessarily what you say, but how you say it. This same concept goes for trying to help our children resolve some of their issues and become the best they can be and do the best they can do.
My name is Paul Kramer, I am a children’s book author. I’m originally from New York City, but for the past twenty years I have been blessed by living on the beautiful Island of Maui in the State of Hawaii. The children’s books I write attempt to assist children to reduce their stress and anxiety and hopefully resolve important issues that affect them in their everyday lives.
Storytelling has a long history of passing on tradition and values. It plays an important role in educating our children and families. A child or teen who may not be as receptive to being lectured or instructed is often more receptive to the wise storytelling traditions of our ancestors.
The storytelling books I write help children identify with other children or, in some instances, animals that have similar problems and issues that they themselves have. As my story progresses, the character of the story learns various ways and means of dealing with a particular problem and often improves upon or overcomes that problem. My goal and objective is for the child to gain confidence so they too can find solutions to improve upon or overcome their particular issue and develop the self- esteem and courage they need to do so.
Topics for books often involve problems many children commonly face. While doing a book reading to a first grade class in a local school here in Hawaii, a guidance counselor came up to me and told me that so many students were sleep deprived and were having trouble concentrating and focusing in class. She said more and more kids are dozing off in class and the situation is getting worse each year. She asked me if I would consider writing a children’s book that would encourage and motivate children to sleep more. A few months later another one of my books was completed which is called, “Zeep Needs More Sleep.” If someone has a child with a sleep problem or a child that doesn’t want to miss out on anything and repeatedly goes to bed much later than they should, then a book like this might help that child who never wants to go bed say, “Alright mommy, I’m ready to go to sleep now.”
Children who are consistently teased and bullied often find it extremely difficult to openly discuss this issue with their loved ones due to their embarrassment associated with this topic. Books and story-telling often reduce the resistance about talking about sensitive issues and can be an important first step in mentally rehearsing possible alternative ways of dealing with problems. The goal of my book, “Bullies Beware” is to have the child move past the guilt and shame of being bullied and to motivate the child to build up the courage to step forward and tell their parent, sibling, teacher, or principal that they are being bullied and need help.
It is not uncommon for there to be some subjects that are very difficult and uncomfortable to talk about with your child. Your child may very well be under a misconception and feel extremely guilty for something that they should not feel guilty about. Story books can give both the parents and their children an ideal opportunity to talk about extremely sensitive subjects. For example, my book, “Divorce Stinks,” is designed to open discussion and provide a framework that their mother and father are divorcing each other, not their children and that it is not the child’s fault if their parents separate or get divorced. It is gratifying to have had some recent reviews suggesting the effort promoted discussion before, during and after the divorce, that the story flowed, and that it was easy to understand from the viewpoint of the child, and conveyed “an undertone of respect for the reader”.
With or without the aid of a book or colorful story, my experience highlights the importance of speaking with your child or adolescent with respect and with love. I believe it will go a long way in helping both of you to have a clearer understanding of everyone’s true feelings. Sometimes reading a story together helps open this dialogue of communication.
About the author, Paul Kramer
About the author, Paul Kramer
For more information about my children’s books, visit my website at www.alohapublishers.com. Please check out the video previews of all of my books. My books are not presently available for sale to the general public, but will be soon. If you are interested in purchasing any of my titles, let me know by leaving me a message using the contact form on my website, mentioning this article, and when the book is available, I will happily hand sign and personalize it for you.
Editors Note: Over the past year or so, Dr. Cummings and I have had the honor and opportunity to preview and offer some suggestions on Paul Kramer's wonderful books. His books incorporate wonderful and captivating prose for children and teens, very original illustrations, and a level of warmth, support, and intelligence that helps strike a chord and open conversations with those we care for. Ernest J. Bordini, Ph.D.