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Our eldest recently started school and was surprised to bring home books to read with no words sometimes. I had no idea that oral storytelling was beneficial for oral language development, promotes brain development, imagination, language and emotions!

In certain families or friendship circles there can often be one person, or more, who seem to thrive on storytelling, embellishing stories, often turning factual information into a more dramatic version when recounting their version to a third party. Are you thinking of someone?

YOUR story is yours to tell, if you want to. If someone else is telling others about how you’re feeling without you having spoken about it yourself then the information they’re sharing is THEIR view of how they think you’re acting or feeling, not YOURS. If you’re the person listening to this kind of conversation and you’re wondering whether the person in question is in fact feeling as the person talking about them is feeling, call them, message them, check-in with them yourself so you can support them in the best way, should they need it.

Too often, especially in the early weeks, months and sometimes years of parenthood, mothers - and fathers for that matter - are working it all out as they go along. They may often seem tired on occasion, irritable on others and euphoric on others, but this doesn’t mean they need you to feel sorry for them… They may well be a lot more resilient than the stories are letting on!

Parenthood is a road you embark on which includes speed bumps, twists, turns, roadworks, diversions, reversing, reattempting and starting again and again…

What parents need is practical and emotional support not advice - unless they ask for it.

“Everybody has a story. When we don’t take the time to know someone’s story, or worse, create our own version of it, we lose the chance to understand what they need which is the first step to empathy.” - Jon Acuff

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