Storytelling is a useful relationship-building tool to use with children, as demonstrated by the work of ‘Johnny’ and the author, his nurse. Five stages of narration - purpose, backstory, pivotal events, evaluation of effects and summary - encourage children to recognise and accept feelings such as anger, grief, shame and guilt in a safe way and make small steps towards change. It is feasible to start engaging children with simple everyday stories, and then go on to develop the tale so that the nurse and the child make additions as required.
Building a relationship with a child or young person is vital to gain their trust. Dean-David Holyoake investigates how storytelling can be a useful tool for the busy children's nurse