Story time with Bonnie Henna
With Children’s Day coming up in November, we catch up with Bonnie Henna on how she’s used stories and books to spark her children’s potential and her own!
Actress, Survivor contestant and now author, Bonnie Henna takes a break from the launch of her autobiography Eyebags and Dimples (Jacana Media) to talk motherhood and helping your child grow.
The 33-year-old mother of two, now based in Cape Town, shares her storytelling secrets with the Nal’ibali reading-for-enjoyment initiative – and tells us why reading with your kids is the best quality time you can get.
Being a parent is a beautiful yet humbling experience. We learn so much about parenting from the way we are parented, without even questioning our beliefs. Deciding how you want to uniquely parent your children takes constant effort and evaluation, most of all commitment.
The stories my children most enjoy are those they can relate to, where people they can relate to are going through things they have gone through or are going through. They love it when we tell them stories ourselves in an animated way.
When I read to my children I can’t focus on myself and my opinions of the story because then it’s easy for me to get bored or distracted. I love the look on their little faces when I read to them in different voices and make it as exciting as possible for them. It’s the best quality time!
One book that everyone should read to their child is the book that they ask you to read. Every child has their favourite book and they might not be able to communicate their reasons. It’s important that we acknowledge and respect what resonates with our children and avoid judging their choices.
Adopting a child is a gift that keeps unfolding, an involved process requiring commitment. It comes with its own challenges – especially in the beginning.
Watching my children learn to speak is so exciting. I don’t know where they learn half the things they say. Watching them form ideas and sentences as they speak is so intriguing for me. They are so funny, too.
Writing my own story has allowed me to experience a freedom I never have before.
The book that changed my life is not one single book but a combination of ideas I’ve formed over the years from a combination of books. It’s not always about taking in everything you read in a book; take what resonates with you and discard the rest.
The character I’ve played who most inspired me was not one particular character, because each of them require me to reach into different parts of myself, humble myself and say, ‘even if I’ve never walked this path before, I can find common ground’. This has made me less judgemental as a person.
Twitter is so much fun; at times infuriating; very informative and a great way to pass time.
A life without stories would be… lonely.
To WIN a copy of Eyebags and Dimples (Jacana Media) simply tell us which book changed your life at www.facebook.com/nalibaliSA or on Twitter @nalibaliSA. Closing date: 27 October 2012.
Nal’ibali is a national reading-for-enjoyment initiative to spark children’s potential through reading and storytelling. For multi-lingual literacy tips and stories, visit www.nalibali.org