Why tell stories?

You might think that storytelling is only good for children, but also, can be extended, for adults ... right? What if I showed you the opposite?

There are many reasons to tell, to read tales and the effects provoked subsequently are immeasurable, beyond the pleasure of the moment shared, the complicity. It is beyond what is conscious and beyond the moment. No, I'm not going to talk to you right away about the unconscious, but just about why it is good to tell tales and to listen to them.

Tales help a child to grow up, to become the Man he will be tomorrow. What makes a child endlessly ask you to read the same story over and over? What is his pleasure when the same child is curious, open to the world? It is one of the many facets of the magic of tales.

Thus, Bruno Bettelheim - psychiatrist, writes in his work "Psychoanalysis of fairy tales": "To tell a fairy tale, to express all the images it contains, is to sow seeds in the mind of a child. Some will immediately begin to do their work in the conscious mind; others will stimulate processes in the unconscious. Some others will remain dormant for a long time until the child's mind has reached a stage favorable to their germination, and others will never take root. "

Like in Jack and the Beanstalk, with the branches of the bean, the tale expands ignoring the boundaries of culture, time and space. It is an inexhaustible journey.

For Philippe Delaroche of the magazine "Lire", the tale is "a double vestibule, where the link with the word and the link with the written are sealed."

So there are different reasons.

First of all, the importance of orality in the tale:

Putting words on things, using the word to describe, name things, events, emotions. The power of words. To put a name to a fear, an anguish, an intense joy, an emotion, even primary or primitive, is to identify it and put it at bay. It is a safeguard against an act of passage in the child. The expression of an emotion can then avoid the physical aggression of the other, the one who is the object of his anger.

The virtue of a tale is to allow the child to learn the language in which it is told. The child listens, talks about it, talks about what he has just heard.

Through the tale, the building of the child's personality takes place.

Jacques Salomé, French psychosociologist and writer, has written collections of tales: "Tales to grow from the inside", "Tales to love, tales to love". It has a symbolic approach, the metaphor, which exist to hear the body languages, to "speak to the unconscious" of the listener, to trigger a real soothing and restorative alchemy.

Tales are a way to "self-healing". Around 6 or 7 years of age, a period of latency occurs in the child and then follows crisis in the youngest child. Thus, the child has incorporated the forbidden and becomes quieter. The parents, the entourage, can misunderstand the meaning of this wisdom which does not mean disappearing, the end of anxieties.

The chronology of fears in children and adolescents

There is a "chronology of fears" highlighted by Robert Pelsser - psychologist and psychotherapist in 1989 in " Manual of child and adolescent psychopathology" .

What are these fears?

From 6 to 18 months: Fear of strangers, abandonment, obscurity, the unknown, loneliness, unfamiliar objects, people and places.

2-3 years to 6-7 years: Fear of being alone in the dark, of being chased, bitten, devoured, fear of the night, dark areas, fantastic characters, large animals and small animals.

Fear of natural elements (water, fire, thunder, lightning), heights and emptiness (vertigo), of particular people (doctor, dentist, foreigner, bearded man), of large or small spaces, of the city (traffic, noise, accident), dirt, germs, disease and death.

6-7 years to 12 years: Fear of school, relationships with others, sports, accidents, physical violence, kidnapping, death of parents, burning of the house, of death.

Ages 12 to 18:Fear of school, of the opposite sex, of sexual activity, of physical ugliness or deformity, of failing at school, of speaking in public.

The tale nourishes the child with his magic by giving him the keys to tame his archaic fears and grow.


The importance of transmission

The tales are trans-generational, they are transmitted to the child but also well before him and well after him. The child can smell, feel all of this when the adult tells him a story. It becomes whole, the big ensemble of Humanity.

Identification with characters

The child can identify with the characters through the reading of tales. He thus develops his self-esteem and his personality. This identification signifies an important emotional investment.

By identifying with the hero, the child can realize that he too can cope with difficulties. The projection as a hero helps the child to feel reassured in his apprehension of the outside world.

According to René Diatkine - psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, the child "may just as well recognize in a sympathetic character a more or less allusive reference to an aspect of his ideal of the ego, than be relieved because he sees in an unfriendly character a bad one. part of himself, which he can get rid of in a game that lasts only the instant of a tale ”.

The child can thus overcome his fear, grow with more maturity. He can also positively change his judgment of himself. The tale promotes the development of self-esteem.

The magic of the tale

The child " cuddles ... the pretty objects he loves", "he knocks on the door ... because it is certain that it closed on purpose, out of sheer nastiness. - Ruth Benedict - anthropologist and biographer.

Thus, "Myths give precise answers ... fairy tales only suggest ... Fairy tales leave the imagination of the child to decide if and how it can apply to himself what the story reveals. story about life and about human nature. "- Bruno Bettelheim

As Piaget has shown, the child's thinking remains animist until the age of puberty. His parents and those around him tell him that things can neither feel nor act; he pretends to believe in it, because of his entourage and not to be ridiculed.

"Children need the support of magic to be able to face life", writes Bruno Bettelheim in his book "To be acceptable parents".

To grow up, the child constantly resorts to imagination.

The art of bonding

It is an object of socialization. It allows the “living together”. The storyteller forges a link with those who listen because, on the one hand, it is collective memory and on the other hand because next to the storyteller someone reacts like him, whilst listening to the story.

Edith Montelle - ethnologist and storyteller, indicates, in her work "Paroles Conteuses": "The Conte is convivial. Listening to a tale, the listener is not alone to face these terrible situations: he is surrounded by his friends and finds out that they are as scared as he is, so he feels his anxieties are normal and can be controlled. "

The tale conveys messages, from generation to generation. It is an object of transmission for values ​​and a shared culture.

The art of tidying up

The world is sometimes chaotic for the child and gives him a feeling of incomprehension. At least that's what he perceives. Thus, events can appear to him isolated, not linked to each other. This explains the child’s anxieties in the face of events, situations which may seem trivial.

Connecting things, arranging them will allow him to better understand and tame his world, both internal and external. The child does not feel alone, he has come out of his egocentricity.

It's endless magic ...

The tale comes from the past and yet its effect is always without question. He knows how to speak to our inner questions, to appease our deep anxieties and to stimulate our imagination.

So why deprive ourselves whether we are little or big….

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