Cords that Bind
Families get pulled in different directions. They face break-ups, letdowns, emotional turbulence, online and offline predators, all while attempting to remain connected to one another. We cling to a future we can’t see.
Researchers at Emory University discovered that children who know their own family history were more resilient and have a stronger sense of control in their lives. They also have a higher self-esteem and a better sense of their own identity than children who don't know their family's stories.
So what should they know?
Here are some of the questions:
- Where did your grandparents grow up?
- Where did your parents grow up?
- Where did your mom and dad go to high school?
- How did your parents meet?
- What family traditions do you have?
- Has someone in your family had a bad illness or hardship?
What’s so great about kids knowing their family stories? They see that they belong to something bigger than themselves—they develop a stronger intergenerational self.
Children learn about the tough things their family has faced. They learn that those challenges become chapters in a life story that continues on. Children understand that hardships don’t have to be roadblocks.
Sharing family stories with children can happen on the way to soccer practice, at bedtime, over a meal, or while running an errand. So, what story are you going to share today?