Successful writers know how to target the interests of their audience. As parents, you have an advantage here, because you know your own children well. A written story has lasting power. A child can easily see the importance of learning to read and write to communicate and keep records. There are unlimited story possibilities, so how do you start?
Begin with story telling. Stories are a most valuable natural parenting tool. They are the perfect distraction for an irritable mood or a rainy day. They help transition through the rhythms of daily routine and bring a reluctant child onboard with the rest of the family. Telling a story is great for interacting with your children when your hands are full and its inconvenient to sit down with a book. Many classics originate from an oral story.
Start simple, stay real. Many young children do not distinguish well between fact and fiction. Fantasy stories may be hard for them to make sense of, or they may pick up a false sense of the world around them. My children like true stories best, and still consider many made up stories to be "lies."
Create meaning for your childen. Help them make sense of new events or difficult situations. You guide which images they will focus on and remember. You can even put a positive spin onto an event that hasn't happened yet, to help focus good energy towards a likeable outcome.
Turn an every day event into a story. Does your child hate to brush his teeth? Write a story about your routine, making it loving and fun. Do you have a special toothbrush that no one else has? Do you have to rinse 3 magical times to get that extra clean feeling? Is your daughter afraid to swim? Write an encouraging story about her floating care free in the water. Let her shine as the hero and see the possibilities. Did you just see your neighbor's dog wander into an ant's nest? Did you visit the store and forget to buy peanut butter? Anything may turn into a story.
Make it interesting. There should be something in your story that stands out and makes it special. While you could write a story about a fan turning, you may risk some yawns. But while all adults know that skunks may spray, you hopefully don't encouner one often.
Put in current details. Its great to look back at your stories and remember the moods and events in daily life at the time. What were you eating? Where were you living? Were the daisies in bloom or was it snowing? Was the baby walking yet, or just learning to crawling? If you can't work the details into your wording, add them to the pictures, and they will serve as a memory book.
Turn your kids into main characters. Everyone enjoys stories about themselves. If you're trying to encourage your child to read, peak his natural interest with lots of action about himself.
Record your family history. Tell about how grandpa learned to bake bread, or how your family moved to a new town. Describe an event from when you were growing up. Step back and see the little lessons in life that you've learned along the way.
Send a gentle message to your children. Are they struggling to share with their syblings? Invent a story about the poor homeless man you saw one day, sharing his biscuits with a hungry street dog. Do you want them to be kinder to the ants? Invent a story about how helpful the ants are to take away dead insects, or how smart they are to live in a well organized society.
Write a rough sketch of a few simple sentences. The simplest story for young readers should have at least 5 separate sentences. Sometimes a story will flow on its own, so feel free to let that happen. Elaborate on each sentence or thought and copy it into a simple paper book. You can cut pages out and form your own small book with a binding of staples, sewing or tape.
Add pictures or decorations. Involve your children in the illustrating process. They can draw their own pictures, color in and decorate outlines you have made, glue in a collage of clippings, mount pages onto paintings, add glitter or stickers. There are many possibilities.
Make a back and front cover. Put in the names of authors and illustrators. Add the date of your creation to remember it by.
Sit down to read your newly published book! Now you have a story of your very own. You and your children will enjoy reading it for many years to come.