There is a certain someone in every family who has a knack for captivating an audience with a spellbinding story. Maybe it’s grandma’s musical voice that draws you in, or how you know you’ll end up in fits of laughter when Uncle Mike recounts hilarious anecdotes from his youth. Regardless of who’s doing the storytelling, Before You is here to bring a little magic to your family’s next story hour.
Gathering together as a family to share stories has been a constant throughout history, from the pioneer campfire to the suburban couch. According to neuroeconomist Paul Zak, a moment of shared storytelling can even provide a mood boost. When you engage in storytelling, your brain releases a rush of the neurochemical called oxytocin. Produced when we are shown a positive human connection, this hormone enhances our sense of empathy, our ability to experience the emotions of others, and motivates feelings of cooperation. So, as you are sharing a story with your family, those listening to your spellbinding tales are receiving a burst of oxytocin into their own brains.
Interested in taking your family stories from average to utterly enchanting? We’ve put together a few of our favorite tricks to help bring your stories to life with Before You.
Make a List
You don’t have to start from the very beginning. Jot down a list of all the stories you’d like to tell and start with whichever is inspiring you the most! Using the illustrated path feature on the Before You app, you can jump into storytelling from anywhere you wish and fill in your major milestones as you go. Feeling stuck? Try using the story prompts feature on Before You to help get started on your story list! Prompts like “family recipes” and “leaving the nest” will keep you from racking your brain.
Jog Your Memory
Little fuzzy on the details? Try searching through old family photos or memory boxes to help spark a story to tell. You never know what family antiques and heirlooms are hiding up in grandma’s attic! If someone else remembers the details a little clearer, why not let them share in their own words! Record the memories of your elders straight from the source with the audio feature of Before You. Not only can you experience family history from those who lived it, but you can create a new family memento to cherish for generations to come.
Decorate with Detail
Adding in rich detail can help a listener feel like they’re part of the story. Instead of telling the story of how you and your cousins learned to fish on grandpa’s boat, share with them the feeling of squirming as you had to reach your hand into the can or worms, or how grandpa was beaming when you reeled in your first catch! For young children learning about their family, detailed accounts give a story context and help solidify the memories in their developing minds.
Take a Break
Remember, you’re not writing a novel. For those of us non-English majors, it can be a daunting task to write out a formal story about your dog’s adoption day. Share a story in the same tone you’d naturally speak, and don’t be afraid to fill in some of the details later on! Good stories take time and with Before You, you can come back later to fill in the gaps and add to the story as it grows with the app’s editing feature. Start a story when you have a quick thought you don’t want to lose, or when you find a photo that speaks a thousand words but you just don’t have the time. Simply craft a title, add a photo or main ideas, and edit later!
Bring the magic back to family storytime with Before You, the easy to use app changing the way families share and cherish their favorite memories. Download the app to start experiencing family storytelling made modern!