We forget a lot. But what’s the big deal? In a family context, remembering stories means building your family’s collective memory. This of inestimable value, especially for the next generation. Read from our collection of telling family stories.
Better Every Story
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Curated Resources for Telling Family Stories.
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What Kids Learn from Hearing Family Stories
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
From a Christian perspective, but a general audience will also appreciate its tips 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
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).
Story of My Life: How Narrative Creates Personality
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).
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.
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.
The Family Stories That Bind Us
New York Times
"The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned."
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 snippets. The app is simple to use, comes with many great questions to ask your loved ones. Choose whether or not to archive the interview in the library of congress.
Telling Family Stories. Why Capturing And Sharing Your Collective Memories Matter
Leadership Story Lab
Whether you consider yourself a storyteller, whether you plan to tell stories, you already tell stories all the time. The only sensible question is, “How do I take full advantage of this very essence of being human so I better myself, my family and my community?”
Telling Family Stories, Part II: Collecting The Stories You Hear
Leadership Story Lab
How do you collect the stories that people tell you—either people in your family or at your organization? Whether you opt for high-tech options or lower-tech options, don’t simply trust memory and hope your memories will surface and help you recall family stories later on. Capture them while they’re fresh.
Mothers are Leadership Storytellers. Here’s Why.
Leadership Story Lab
When we bring up the past, the selection of stories is intentional: there's something we want to highlight that we want others to remember and repeat. So, when my daughters fight as siblings inevitably do, I can remind them of the time Melia was so thoughtful and protective of her older sister that she was willing to subject herself to the horror of staying in her room by herself (a frightful thing, apparently) if it meant her sister received comfort and reassurance. I can turn my daughters’ experience into a story that is shaping their identity, relationships and future.