Social stories have been around since the beginning of time. Children on the laps of their parents have listened as their parents related stories that included them. Parents also included experiences and lessons they wanted their children to learn. It seems parents inherently knew how to do this. Our social story for kids explores the battle that Bongi has with learning to write and why he has messy handwriting.
Carol Gray has been attributed with developing the social story for kids. I think she encapsulated and pulled together what parents have been doing through the ages. Before I even knew these were called social stories, I wrote them for my own children when they were struggling with different things.
In handwriting myths busted we explore the myths children are fed about why they have messy handwriting. Children do not wake up one morning and decide that today is the day they will have messy handwriting. It is seldom a choice. There is almost always a reason why they are struggling.
Sadly, over time, children have been ridiculed for having messy handwriting. Uninformed teachers from the dark ages (and, sadly the current ages too) have publicly shamed children for the quality of their handwriting. And please don’t think I am laying this at the feet of teachers alone. Parents are equally guilty, believing their children to be lazy, or that they should just try harder. The adults in our children’s lives can have the mis-perception that if they just tried harder, messy handwriting would be a thing of the past.
Children can also be brutal in their feedback too. Comments from peers sting at the deepest of levels leaving children feeling they are somehow lesser because they have messy handwriting.
And then there are report cards with their little section at the bottom about handwriting. Teachers these days are way more diplomatic. However, back in granny’s day, diplomacy was not the name of the day when it came to brutally hurtful comments about messy handwriting.
A handwriting social story for kids
Somehow our children inherently believe it is their fault if their handwriting is messy. And this happens even when teachers and parents have been supportive. This handwriting social story for kids is for all the children out there who are struggling and feeling misunderstood on account of it. In our story, Bongi has the support he needs from his teacher. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.
Bongi was worried his teacher was sad,
But Bongi knew that he hadn’t been bad.
His pencil was wobbling and making a mess,
He couldn’t draw shapes and it caused him distress.
Bongi tried making his pencil behave,
He sat sadly with it and tried to be brave.
The problem for Bongi was one of great note
His pencil was wobbling whenever he wrote.
His teacher was kind and so caring you see,
She wanted for Bongi to be worry free.
She thought and she pondered and thought a bit more,
How could she help so it wasn’t a chore?
Then Bongi’s teacher she had a great thought,
I’ll make up some tricks, that cannot be bought.
I’ll work out a way, for Bongi to learn,
So for good writing he won’t have to yearn.
Get your copy of the rest of the story about Bongi below.
Bunty McDougall, Occupational Therapist
Kids are still OK if they have messy handwriting
There is so much we can do to help children with untidy handwriting. And the beginning of that is to help them understand that it is OK. To help them understand that it will take hard work to improve it, but that they can get there. Some children, those with Dysgraphia and a disorder of written expression, may never conquer it. But for them, there is support too. We probably need a follow up handwriting social story for kids for those who need handwriting accommodations.
This handwriting social story follows Bongi on his messy handwriting journey. As an occupational therapist, I have seen it all when it comes to messy handwriting. But, in conjunction with parents and teachers, we are able to support these children and set them on the path to a better handwriting future. In this story Bongi has the support and help of his teacher. However, there are specialist occupational therapists who can also help and support your child through their handwriting challenges.
In closing about our handwriting social story for kids
Research has shown there are up to 30% of children who struggle with messy handwriting. This social story for kids will help them understand that untidy handwriting is not their fault. Grab your download below!
Get your Handwriting Social Story for Kids by entering your details in the form below:
More about improving untidy and messy handwriting:
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