Parenting as Storytelling

Training children to love reading can be tough. Okay, really tough. A host of visual entertainment competes for our children's attention. Things like video games, which are not necessarily bad in themselves, can spill over boundaries and erode a child’s love of reading. When visual entertainment choices threaten a love for books and imaginative storytelling in a young child's life, parents should be concerned. Parents need wisdom here, wisdom suited to the strengths and weaknesses of each child.

Books are important because story is important. And story is important because to some degree parenting is storytelling. Parents are called to the glorious labor of narrating God's sovereign and cosmic drama to our children, to show them we are participating in his story, together, right now.

Sally Lloyd-Jones is one author who has thought about the challenges parents face here, and she serves parents and children alike with her artful storytelling. Most notably she's the author of The Jesus Storybook Bible (ZonderKidz, 2007). Recently she published a follow up project, Thoughts to Make Your Heart Sing (ZonderKidz, 2012).

Shortly after the release of her newest book we asked her about the value of reading in the life of a child, the challenges posed by video games, and the captivating power of storytelling. She shared with us in this 3-minute video:


Sally Lloyd-Jones tweets (@sallylloydjones) and maintains a website (here).


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Tony Reinke is a content strategist and staff writer for Desiring God and the author of Lit! A Christian Guide to Reading Books (2011) and John Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ (2015). He hosts the Ask Pastor John and Authors on the Line podcasts, and lives in the Twin Cities with his wife and their three children. He also blogs at tonyreinke.com.