Cognitive Story Audio:
Sharing Exciting Day
This is a cognitive story for children. The purpose is to help children learn how to handle different situations.
A cognitive story teaches children how to think rationally about problems that commonly occur in childhood.
These stories are often good at bedtime because the end of the story focuses on relaxing and drifting off to sleep.
This audio is a conversation between a wise old parrot and a child. The parrot advises the child when the child is feeling
excited about something good that happened but not wanting to brag and make friends feel bad. This story is to help the child know to handle the situation including
ways to think about it and how to share in a way that friends may be more receptive. The story the audio is based on is also listed below so that it can be read to a child.
As told by Carol Watkins, professional storyteller
. Written by Dr. Monica Frank.
Transcript: Sharing Exciting Day
You lie back on your pillows and try to go to sleep. But your thoughts about what happened today are busy in your mind. You feel very excited about what happened to you today. It is harder to relax and drift off to sleep when you are feeling excited. You think about your friend, the parrot, eager to share your exciting day. You are hoping that your friend will stop by soon.
You try to close your eyes and go to sleep but the exciting day keeps replaying in your mind. It's so hard to turn off your thoughts, quiet down, and relax so you can go to sleep. You try to focus on your relaxing breath but it is hard to focus when you are so excited.
As you are tossing and turning in your bed, you suddenly hear a “squawk.” Opening your eyes you see your friend the parrot on the windowsill with its wings spread as if it just landed. You notice the deep blue, the bright yellows, greens, and reds of its feathers as it shakes its wings and folds them back. The parrot cocks its head and looks at you with one eye.
“What's going on with you today?” it squawks.
You share that you had a very exciting day and something really great happened.
“Tell me all about it,” the parrot says.
You tell your friend about your success and how great it felt. It feels really good to talk about something that made you so happy because you had accomplished something important to you. After you tell the parrot about your day, you say, “But it's kind of sad, too.”
“Why's that?” asks the parrot.
“Because my friends don't want to hear me brag. But it feels so good I want to share it over and over with somebody,” you say.
The parrot say's “Let's take a walk in our special place.”
Your special place is a winding trail through a park with lavender grass and silver leafed trees. The sky is always pink with tinges of red and orange. Wisps of clouds of all colors float lazily across the sky. The sunlight sparkles on the silver leaves of the trees almost like drops of water. You hear the birds chirping in the trees and occasionally see a flash of color as a bird flies from one tree to another. At spots along the path are benches surrounded with colorful flowers and butterflies flitting from one to another.
As you walk in your special place with the parrot flying at your shoulder, you tell your friend the parrot about how lonely it feels to have excelled at something when it doesn't feel right to share it with others.
“Didn't your friends get excited for you?” asks the parrot.
“Yes, but I wanted to keep talking about it. It doesn't feel as good when I can't share how good I feel about it,” you say.
“They are your friends. Don't you think they want to hear about something that makes you happy?” asks the parrot.
“But I might make them feel bad or jealous because they didn't do as well!” you protest.
“That's true,” says the parrot. “But it might not. Some people can feel as happy for someone else as for themselves. What would you feel if it happened to your friend?”
“I would be happy for them and want to hear all about it,” you say. “But what it they can't be happy for me and I hurt their feelings because they think I'm bragging?”
“Then you will have learned something about your friends,” says the parrot. “But you can't assume you know how they would feel because you don't know. If you don't share you won't ever know who would be happy to listen to you about your exciting news.”
“What if they get mad at me? Or don't like me because I did something they couldn't?” you ask.
“That could happen,” agrees the parrot. “But if it does it isn't that you did anything wrong. It is because they are comparing themselves to you instead of feeling good about their talents.”
“How could I make them feel better?” you ask.
“You can't make them feel better because that depends on how they think about things,” says the parrot. “But the way you say something can affect how they think. Like, you could remind them about one of their own special times and tell them that you feel like they did when that happened. That way you are reminding them of their talents while sharing your special news. You can also let them know that it feels good to share with a special friend. That way they'll know that you're not trying to make them feel bad.”
“That sounds like a good idea. I will try that,” you say.
Your friend cautions you “But you do need to be careful about bragging. You need to be aware of when you are saying something over and over and it is too much.”
“How can I know that?” you ask.
“That's sort of hard to tell sometimes but a good way of knowing is when your friends want to talk about something else.”
“Does that mean they don't really care about me?”
“No, a friendship is about both of you,” explains the parrot. “Your friend needs to have your attention, too.”
“Okay, I will remember that,” you promise.
You continue to walk along the path, feeling better as you watch the sunlight dripping off the leaves of the trees in sparkling drops and splashing on the grass below in beautiful patterns of light almost like a kaleidoscope. When you get back to your bed, you snuggle under the covers, thinking about your exciting day and how you can share it with your friends.
After sharing your exciting news your mind is a little quieter now. You know you can relax a little now and fall asleep. You focus on taking a slow breath and noticing the muscles in your chest move with each breath. Those muscles begin to relax with each breath you take. You notice the air coming into your body as you take a slow breath and you notice the air leaving your body. You feel your muscles relaxing more and more.
You snuggle deeper in your cozy bed. As you continue to breathe slowly your body relaxes. You feel yourself beginning to become drowsy. It feels so good to snuggle in your bed! You feel yourself drifting, drifting, drowsy, and relaxing. You feel as if you are drifting off to sleep, so drowsy, feels so good.
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