Do your children know how you and your spouse met? Do they know where you went to high school or what you majored in in college? What about their grandparents, do they know where they were born, or what they did for a living? Do your kids know their birth stories?
Well, if they don’t, it is time for us to start talking!
Heather here from FamilyVolley.com and I want to share with you some fantastic research out of Emory University. They found that children who know more about their families are more resilient, better at facing challenges, have higher self esteem and feel a greater sense of control over their lives. Knowing their family stories connects them to a greater body of people and develops their sense of identity.
What? Just by sharing family stories, our children can have all those benefits?
Researchers call it a Family Narrative and it is all the stories we tell about our family members. We need to tell the ups and the downs not just the good stories, or the bad stories. Don’t just tell the facts, but help your children understand the meaning behind the facts. The moral behind the stories.
Don’t worry if the stories aren’t 100 percent accurate. We usually tell family stories to help our children when they are struggling or in a tough situation. We tend to modify the stories to fit the situation, and that is okay.
Instead, we should focus on telling our children the stories that they can’t learn first hand. Maybe they happened before they were born, or happened to family members they won’t ever meet. Right now with family reunions and family vacations on the calendar, it is the perfect time to tell our children about their ancestors and let your Great Aunt share share share.
How can we introduce our children to our family stories? The best place to start is by telling a story in every situation. My dad was a master at this. He always had/has a family story to tell. Whether he was teaching me about honesty or how to handle a bad day on the tennis court, there was a family story involved. These stories are now being passed on to our children. They have connected all of us to one another and taught along the way. Whenever possible, share a story. Whether your child is nervous about the spelling bee, or your teenager is asking a girl/boy out on a date, think back to your family stories and use them to teach.
You will love the strength it brings to your children. You will be amazed at the way it bonds your family. We all have these stories, it just might take a little extra thought when the situations arise. So the next time you have a conversation with your children, share a family story!
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