If you still have family around, ask how they met. Write it down. According to Thursday’s Wall Street Journal, your children will be better off if they know your family history.
The article, which my father told me about, is here.
What they’re finding is that a sense of family history is linked to self-esteem and resiliency in kids. And contrary to what adults may assume, happily-ever-after tales aren’t always best. Instead, stories of relatives grappling with sad or difficult events may give children the wisdom and perspective they need to thrive. …Kids who knew their family history had higher self-esteem and fewer emotional problems, such as depression.
It wasn’t just the children they examined. They also looked at the adults.
The nurturing adults’ stories also tended to include more examples of people, often strangers, who were surprisingly kind…
You don’t just tell the stories. You also need to tell the hard things.
rather than gloss over negative emotions, researchers recommend discussing how relatives deal with them.
So, go ask questions. See what your kids know. They may know less than you thought.
I thought my children knew the story of my brother’s almost death. I thought they knew about the strangers– JW, the dean of the law school, and the doctor– who helped my parents keep him alive, get him surgery, and keep him alive.
The kids complain I tell them stories too many times. But they hadn’t even heard this story. I didn’t know they hadn’t. So now I’m trying to write them down and make sure they know them.