What do kids learn by listening to the family stories?
World of information is just a click away nowadays, and when a kid wants to read or listen to a story, he or she can find everything on the internet. Simple as that. However, you can change this modern habit by actually telling them family stories. You know – sit with them, and talk. No computers, no TV. Try to make a family tradition out of storytelling, and pass it down to future generations. This can bind you, and make your family even stronger.
One of our previous blog posts was about the importance of reading books to children in their development. We have also learned about the positive and negative impacts of cartoons on kids. However, it seems that we somehow neglected the family and its role in all this. The increasingly rapid pace of life today and online access to a wide range of interesting facts and information make us distant, trapped into our own micro-worlds, while family members meet only when it’s dinner time, or during family celebrations.
You can change this by establishing a nice family tradition – tell family stories to your children, share and make with them lasting memories. This is exactly what our grandparents used to do when we were young, remember? They would wait until the whole family was gathered around the table and talk about the memories from their childhood, anecdotes how they met and fell in love, and adventures of their children.
I remember one of the stories my grandmother on my mother’s side used to told me. She talked about how she met my grandfather, unexpectedly and completely by accident. As a 19-year-old girl she got a new job, and moved from Belgrade to Donji Milanovac. As she came with all the suitcases in front of the door of her new workplace, she noticed it was locked, and that all the workers had left long ago. Having nowhere to go, she had put the suitcases on the ground and sat on them – she was all alone in a new city, without friends and relatives to help her. At that moment my grandfather, the army officer, came along. He was tall and handsome, riding a horse with combed spots like a chess table. He immediately noticed her, and she liked him too. Having seen her so young and alone, and a bit frightened, he didn’t hesitate to help her find accommodation. Of course, they fell in love and got married, had six children, 9 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren, and lived happily ever after just like in fairy tales.
Telling family stories, memories and anecdotes, making family photo albums and videos, keeping some special things that remind us of holidays, birthdays or family vacations builds a stronger relationship between parents and children, grandchildren and grandparents, and family members in general. In this way we learn about our family, discover family secrets, and become more united. In the same time, we build understanding for each other, and pass on to our children priceless family heritage, such as culture, traditions and family values, built for generations.
You can tell your children stories from your childhood or share memories about someone you liked from kindergarten, your first love letters from primary school, or when a boy asked you to go out for the first time. Your children will then pass these memories to their kids and grandchildren, and so on, keeping our memories alive.
In my family there are many memories and happy moments from the past we like to share and talk about. Each time I remember some of them, I realize how lucky and blessed I am to have them. Although my grandma have passed away long ago, she is still living in the stories that she, grandpa, my mother, aunts and uncles used to told me when I was a child.
Therefore, tell your children family stories, establish your own family traditions and you will give them the most valuable gift they can ever get – the sense and importance of family.