Would you like your children to become familiar with their family history? The best way to do it is to actively teach it to them. Children of all ages can learn the stories that have been passed down from one generation to the next. There are plenty of reasons to share your family history with your kids.
Your Kids Don’t Know the Stories
Many families have a collection of stories that get repeated at every family gathering. You may have heard them so often that you could tell them yourself. Now is the time to do that. Do it before you forget the details of the stories.
In addition to telling those stories, it would be a good idea to record those stories in a permanent way. Write them down. Put them onto your family history website. Share them on Facebook with your relatives (including your older children).
Younger Kids Love to Hear About the Past
Little kids (from preschool up through elementary school) want to know about the past – especially the things that happened before they were born. There are certain topics kids tend to ask for:
* How their parents met (and got married)
* The story of the day they were born
* What their parents were like when they were kids
* Stories about grandparents
Stories Bring Meaning to Heirlooms
The crocheted blanket your child sleeps under might not mean very much to them – until they learn that grandma made it. Take the time to tell your children the stories that connect to each family heirloom.
When you look at an heirloom, you probably think of the person the item belonged to. Your kids, however, might not see anything special about it at all. This is because they don’t know the stories behind it. Share that with them.
Identify the People in Old Photos
Little kids love to look at photos. Take advantage of that natural curiosity by teaching them about the people who are in the photos. Try and make it easy for your kids to understand how they are related to each person. “That’s your uncle Joe when he was younger.”
Context is also important. Do your kids already know the story about how their parents met? The next step is to share photos from the wedding with your kids. Connect the dots between the story and the people who are in the photos.
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