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inspirational short storiesInspirational short stories aren't for everyone but they mean so much to me. Here is why!

With so much choice nowadays, we are bombarded on all levels and pulled in all directions, so much so, that our concentration can be shot to pieces, and we are uncertain of where our focus is, or even where it should be, at any particular time.

Aren't we all guilty of setting out to read something inspirational, only to get distracted by something else, and then we lose momentum and find it hard to get this back?

I know I have!

Anyway, here is my top 5 list and what I believe inspirational stories teach us.

1. Think in terms of possibility

They teach us that anything and everything is possible and that by allowing ourselves to be open to POSSIBILITIES, we begin to see things in a new light. Sure we may still be afraid or have feelings of doubt or anxiety, but when you think in terms of possibilities, you open your mind to a new way of thinking.

2.Roadblocks don't have to be dead ends

Inspirational stories teach us that so many others overcome all sorts of road blocks in their lives, some physical, some emotional, some mental and some spiritual, but the thing is they overcame! Not overnight, but by changing their way of thinking and looking at a situation and by living their life accordingly!

3.Make The Change

Stories with inspirational messages, give us ideas of how me can make some changes in our lives. Sometimes we are stuck and cannot see a way forward or even away back! By reading and following along with an inspirational story, you may get the answer you were looking for, set off a thought process that will lead you to moving out of the problem and towards a solution, or at least towards a lesser problem, or you might just get the help and encouragement you needed to revisit the problem with a fresh pair of eyes and a revised outlook.

4. Can you take one step forward, to the side or back?

You will come to realize that life is a series of short journeys, and you don't need to be able to perform acrobatics to get from where you are to where you want to be. A series of short steps will still get you there, maybe not as fast, but once you keep the momentum going, and move with the end as your focal point, you will most probably get there, or at least close enough so you can re-evaluate to see if this is still what you really want!

5.Stronger Than You Think

Inspirational stories teach us that we are actually stronger than we think. We may have lost faith in ourselves, but often we give up on ourselves just when success is around the corner. It is by hanging in there, maybe changing route a little, but by hanging in there none the less, that we edge closer and closer to our goal. Even if it may seem we are making no progress, by just being in the moment and being open to receiving help and guidance from others, we may find we are suddenly in the right place at the right time, and circumstances come about to open doors of possibility for us.

Orla Kelly

Theme: Inspirational Short Stories

 

short stories for children

Credit: Nicole Johnston Pinterest

It is never to late to start your child reading or to begin reading to your child, but to help you on your journey through the vast array of books on offer on hard copy in various bookstores etc or online on different websites such as Amazon and Amazon Kindle, I have put together some suggestions for books which may be enjoyed by your child and enjoyed by you as you snuggle up together to read.

1. Age Appropriate

It is important to chose an age appropriate book for a child. They can be divided into Baby, Toddler, Pre-schooler, Young Child, Big Child and pre-teen.

2. Special Interests Or Hobbies

What is your child interested in. Is it dogs, cats, birds, small fluffy animals, the great outdoors and nature or exotic animals or do they like fairys, magic etc? There are books to suit each childs interests.

3. What Do They Need To Learn?

Okay this is something worth considering. Is there some little lesson you would like to teach your child but they don't want to listen to you or they think they know it all but really they don't! Wen it comes to the best childrens books to read, s it a book on manners, kindness, caring for a brother or sister, helping out at home, respect, etc? The right book will get the message across in a way that kids will take in in a subtle manner and they won't even realize they are learning something.

4. What Level Is Their Concentration At?

Some books will have too much going on for a child while others will need graphics, short words and phrases and lots of white space. Kids get easily distracted but the key is to get them lost in the story instead of just lost!

5. How Do They Best Learn?

Do they need images, lots of color, audio books or books that make sound, books that allow the picture to be dimensional or sensory where they can feel the character or image. An example would be wool from a sheep, fur from a rabbit etc.

6. Series Or One Off Books?

Is there a particular type of book that your child likes that comes as part of a series or do they prefer one off type of books? If they like a particular series, see what other related books you can find?

7. What Is My Budget?

Books come in all sorts of price ranges. Generally instantly downloadable books are cheaper than hard copy books but you will find bargain and discounted books everywhere and some books are available for free download at certain times. Some books are almost collectors items and your child will hold onto them for a long time so they will be good investment pieces.

8. Established Author Or Rising Star?

Does your child have a preference for a particular authors books or is there a new author that they have expressed an interest in. Sometimes new authors go to schools and maybe they did a book reading and the child expressed an interest in the book and the author. Don't be afraid to ask!

9. Content Including Hidden Content

Some books look harmless enough but they may contain content that may alarm, frighten or confuse a child. Maybe have a look through the pages or look online for feedback from other parents about the best books for kids.

10. Meaningful Or Just For Fun

Is this a book that is meant to be meaningful for the child or just a book that is to be nothing more than just fun! Some books have a fun content and that is fine too while others will be more meaningful and the child may have a special attachment to the book. The birth of a new baby, mom being pregnant, parents separating, death of a loved one or pet are examples.

11.Special Occasion?

Is the book to mark a special occasion. Maybe a little note written inside the cover will make a nice touch. Some books can be also used to mark occasions such as getting a new sibling where the book explains things to the child in a child friendly way, or even books on starting big school can help a child get familiar with what to expect!

12. Grammar And Composition?

It is important to select a book to help your child learn "proper" language skills and the proper use of English. Flawed grammer, made up words etc can teach kids the wrong way to express themselves!

13. Building That Connection and Association

Finally, books and reading can help create that special bond that can make magic come alive as kids get integrated into the story and taken on adventures they could only dream about. Sitting together closely to read and engaging with each other about the story is a beautiful past time and will improve a childs concentration, communication skills, vocabulary and expression.

 

As a mum, I am always looking for ways to make parenting easier for myself. There are so many lessons I want to teach my kids, but of course they are not always willing to listen, or they think they know it all already, which can make my job as parent quite difficult at times. Finding books with moral stories for my kids is one way I can help reinforce any positive ideas and life skills in my kids, without them thinking I am being overbearing or suffocating.

Buying books with moral stories for kids or borrowing books with a positive content for children, is a good way of ensuring that, while they are reading, or while you are reading to them, they are being introduced to the right messages you want them to receive.

There are different themed books for different morals you would like for your child or some books have a number of morals and positive life skills for your kids. A child may not pick up the message the first time, or some messages may sink in a little or not at all, but don't get discouraged.

Reading with or to your child is a real positive use of your time together, and if your child is at an age where they will read the book for themselves, then they can take it in and process the content of the book in their own time.

kids imaginationIt is always good to check at some stage for understanding of the content. an example would be, "I wonder why the others thought that Victor Vulture was one of the bad guys" or how about "how did the magic medicine tree help the forest animals?" or "what did they learn from the magic medicine tree?" or "why do you think Owly wanted Cloud to make a list?" or "why did Cloud put all those things on her list?"

It is a good idea to read the book yourself also, so you know what messages are clearer and which are more subtle in the book, and often by asking the right question, you will get the right answer.

Depending on your childs age, they may not always understand your question or what you are trying to ask of them, so you may need to explain to them about what the story also teaches. An example would be "look how all the animals worked together and helped make the enchanted forest" or "see how much the animals care about the magic medicine tree, they made him well again" or "the spirit of the forest always seems to be around when the animals and the forest needs her help, yet they have never seen her".

They will then begin to look out for parts of the book that highlight what you said to them and it will all make sense. Do this for any book with a good moral story but even if you can't find one that addresses morals as such, just go for a book that is positive, inspiring and uplifting for your child. There are so many books that will have the opposite effect on your child and you will spend time trying to undo any harm caused.
As children grow, we want to instil positive qualities and life skills, but it does start with us and by introducing them to the right reading material at an early age, will help them in so many ways and in making the right decisions for them.- Orla Kelly

yMy 6yr old daughter has a stuffed toy owl whom she called Owly. To her, Owly has a real life with her and with us as a family. She is excited when we go anywhere because Owly gets to experience what we do as a family! Who am I to come between her and her wonderful imagination!

One night she had no more new stories to read and my son who is 9 said he would write her a story. He wrote about half a page before it was time for lights out but in that short piece of writing, I could see how important imagination and make believe is for children.

The story he started to write was about Owly and a butterfly. He didn't get to write too much but I promised him I would write an Owly story for the 2 of them to read for bedtime. They were happy with this and so the seed was planted for me writing childrens stories.

Owly features in all books but the story he started to write is only featured in the third book and where part of the story is about a butterfly needing new wings and having to travel to the rainbow to get them which is what he was starting to write about, so full credit goes to my 2 children who inspire me to see inside their minds and to re-live the wonder and imagination that a child experiences from the simplest of every day pleasures.

Not only is Owly the hero of the books but he also inspires others to be the very best they can be and draws out the real magic that surrounds us all and that can be called upon at all times when we ask and when we know where to look.