Telling Family Stories

What Kids Learn from Hearing Family Stories


The Atlantic

How family storytelling positively affects children and teens: advanced narrative skills, higher self esteem, better coping skills, lower anxiety. Parents shouldn't sanitize stories for their children -- just tell it like it was. 

Capturing Your Family Stories


Family Life

From a Christian perspective, but has good points about preserving family heritage through story. The last section of the article lists ways to put your story together: interviewing relatives (or asking them to write their memories), a video camera at family gatherings, create a collection of the family's favorite things, a family scrapbook, and keeping a journal.

6 Family Stories to Tell Your Grandchildren Again and Again


Huffington Post

Tell grandkids: how you met your partner in grandparenting, the day the grandchild's parent was born, the day the grandchild was born, what school was like for you, your first job and your favorite job, your proudest moment.

6 Ways to Preserve Your Family's Living Legacy

A Place for Mom Senior Living Blog

Ways for seniors to pass on their stories and heritage to younger family members: collect family recipes, make an audio/video recording, make a family tree, make a family time capsule, write out favorite memories, or dedicate a tree/bench (not sure this one really applies). 

8 Ways to Preserve Family Memories While You Still Can

Similar takeaways to previous articles, but what I liked best was the suggestion to get the stories associated with things -- knickknacks, lamps, dressers, etc. What stories do those items hold? 

Story of My Life: How Narrative Creates Personality


The Atlantic

Interesting article about how the way we tell ourselves our own stories shapes who we are. Heavy on the idea that all of life is story and how the brain is wired for story (not necessarily how stories are passed down through the generations).

11 Reasons You Should Write Down Your Favorite Memories


How families often talk about the past when getting together for birthdays or weddings, everyone reminiscing. These are concrete ways to preserve those stories and memories. My favorites (of the 11): It will teach you about yourself, sometimes your mind plays tricks on you, and it will change your life.


Telling a Family Culture: Storytelling, Family Identity, and Cultural Membership

Interpersona (professional journal)

A study about the public vs. private stories family tell and how they go about it. Most families focus on positive stories that make them seem pro-social and happy, with negative stories showing how the family has overcome.


Who We Are, But for the Stories We Tell


Psychol Trauma (professional journal)

A study about how the way families tell stories can help them heal when dealing with trauma.


Building Character By Telling Your Stories


Mom Life Today

Examples of how being candid with your kids can give you an avenue to talk to them about your own experiences when you demonstrated (or didn't demonstrate) a particular character trait, like courage.


An awesome photo app that helps preserve more than snapshots, it preserves your family stories



The everystory app incorporates photo, video, and audio narration to tell family stories.


Stories, Etc



The stories etc app creates what is essentially an interactive e-book with audio, video, photo, narration, and text.


StoryCorps app


A helpful app created by this celebrated non-profit, StoryCorps, which is often linked with NPR, but has so much more to offer than its weekly syndicated snippits. The app is simple to use, comes with many great questions to ask your love ones, and choose to arhive (or not) the interview in the library of congress. 


© 2019 by Leadership Story Lab

420 N. Wabash, Suite 543

Chicago, IL 60611 | 312.324.3830

Ready to start telling stories? Connect with us:

  • White Twitter Icon
  • White Facebook Icon
  • White Instagram Icon
  • White YouTube Icon
  • White LinkedIn Icon
  • goodreads
  • Forbes

Subscribe to our resource guide "Better Every Story":

By subscribing, you are agreeing to our privacy policy.