Sharing Family Stories with Your Children
Telling stories to your children can help develop their intellect, literacy skills, and emotional development. Studies have shown that early readers come from homes where oral language is used in a variety of ways – story telling being one of them.
Why Tell Family Stories?
Family stories in particular are a great way for you to communicate and bond with your kids. These stories can also pass on values to your children. Sharing your family stories is an invaluable experience that will help your children form powerful memories that they will have all their lives.
Types of Family Stories
There are different kinds of family stories that children like to listen to. These include:
- Stories about their parents’ and grandparents’ childhood experiences. The games you played, the fun you had, the troubles you got yourself into, the pleasant surprises and lessons learnt.
- Stories about themselves. Tell them about the day they were born, the preparations before their birth – the many things you had to plan for, buy and put in place just for him/her. Remember it should be about making them feel important and intrigue. Not about telling them how much trouble they caused, unless it is for a good laugh!
How Can You Get Started?
Just follow these 4 simple steps to get started on sharing your family story:
- Take some time to think about your childhood and the experiences your parents or grandparents shared with you.
- Write the things you’d like your children to remember. These are things you have to include in your story.
- Pick out a suitable time and place for you to comfortably share the story.
- Share the story with your children when you are all relaxed and ready to enjoy it.
Books to Help You Tell Family Stories
If you need more help, try looking up these books as you embark on telling family stories to your children:
- Remember the Time – The Power and Promise of Family Storytelling byEileen Silva Kindig, Intervarsity Press (Downers Grove, Illinois)
- Black Sheep and Kissing Cousins – How Our Family Stories Shape Us byElizabeth Stone, Penguin Books (USA)
- Telling Your Own Stories – For Family and Classroom Storytelling, Public Speaking And Personal Journaling byDonald Davis, August House (Little Rock)
Source: Edited from “Family Stories – Ways to Support And Strengthen Family Life” by Sheila Wee and Kiran Shah from the Asian StoryTelling Network.