Boredom. Public enemy number one to raising kids. Mom, can you play with me? Mom can we paint? Read me some books! Mom? Mom?!?
The endless days of toddlers and preschoolers call out of entertainment. Books are an important key in those early years.
Books serve two important functions to raising kids. One, good stories educate. Two, great books entertain and excite minds. Third, and most important, reading is the best way to become a good reader. And being a good reader is the best way to be a life-long learner.
Good books entertain and teach in ways that flat out telling information can’t do. I’ve learned about story more and more in the past couple months listening to a great podcast called Building a Story Brand. The podcast focuses on building a business and marketing, but the topics are universal to human nature. The more I learn about human nature and what makes people tick, the more fascinated I become!
Throughout human history, stories have been the primary way to communicate and teach.
Before written language, customs and culture were communicated through story. Story communicated lessons and history in ways that people could easily remember large chunks of information.
At the beginning of every school year I struggle to remember every last thing that needs to be in the backpack every morning. The first day back after Christmas break is relatively easier because now all the things are one chunk in my brain. Lunch, snack, coat, hats and gloves, water bottle.
If I listed out several things to remember, you would struggle to hang on to anything after 7. Phone numbers are 7 digits because that’s what people can remember. But if I tell you a story, you can remember so much more because now all those details are in one chunk.
Here’s an example. Exile, a house in the forest, 7 roommates, a hunter, an evil queen, a mirror, an apple, a diamond mine, prince charming. Alone, these things are a bunch of random details. Because they’ve been told so many times together, I bet you guessed the story.
The problem with some books are boring stories. Human brains seek excitement and new challenges. Humor and a great story loop are the most fascinating things to keep our attention.
Humor works so well to excite little and big minds because it’s surprising and fresh. I find myself loving kid’s books or movies if there’s enough humor for me. Which is totally subjective. What I find funny is not necessarily funny to others. I watch old Westerns and think they’re completely dull, but people that love them laugh at the jokes. I think, why is that a joke?
Time and place in history make up most of what is funny about a joke. Take Maui’s joke in Moana, when he says, “when you use a bird to write, it’s called a tweeting.” 10 years ago, Twitter was too young for most people to have gotten that joke. 20 years ago, Twitter didn’t exist.
Books are important to sharing information and culture with readers of all ages. Books teach and inspire humans to do and become more. Humor works to make the stories even more interesting and engaging.
That’s a little behind the scenes of my creative process for today! I’ve made personal growth a huge goal in my life. Not to brag or be boastful, but to challenge myself. Last year my goal was to read a book a week – 52 books. I reached the goal by September and ended the year with 75 books read. Crazy right? Thanks to free audio books from my library, I accomplished that goal while driving, cooking, doing laundry, etc. This year my first book goal is the bible, so I kept the total goal to 52 books, figuring I can read the bible first and finish strong with audio books later. Friend me on Goodreads!