There was a time when family entertainment consisted of gathering around in the evenings and sharing stories. Many of these stories were an oral tradition of the family history that the children could soak up and repeat to their own children someday. Today’s children live in a world of nonstop extracurricular activities and scheduled play dates. Family history is generally only shared if the kids think to ask. Teaching children about the history of their family is a very important step in the child-rearing process that should not be overlooked.
In This Post:
Creating a Sense of Belonging
In the current social climate, children often report a feeling of displacement and unease. An awareness of having roots in the world can give a child an innate sense of belonging that builds confidence and helps them interact more considerately with their peers.
A Personal Stake in Famous Historical Events
A child often finds history class dull and unimportant in relation to the events of their life. This can all change when historical events are placed in the context of their family. Suddenly, the flat black and white pages of their history books are brought to life. Whether a grandparent sat at a lunch counter during the civil rights movement, or a great grandmother participated in World War II efforts, placing familiar faces in the greater historical picture greatly enlivens the subject.
Reverence for the Older Generation
It is easy for children to forget relatives that have passed away. Without stories to form a personality and life history for the older generation, the memories become faded and obscure. Professionals from McComb & Wagner know how important it is to properly honor the memory of our family members after they’re gone. Many families honor their newly departed with a grand funeral to celebrate their loved one’s life. This is very appropriate for the immediate aftermath, but being aware of the rich and abundant lives of their elders gives the children a respect for their ancestors. There is no better way to honor relatives in the long term than by telling their stories.
Preserving the Past
Unless an incident was tied to a notable historical figure or event, family stories are rarely preserved in written form. Repeating stories to children is a way of preserving the past in the form of an oral record. These stories will live on even after the older generation passes away.
Sometimes it takes a lesson in their own family history for children to realize that every action they take is history in the making. Acquainting them with the past will allow them to live a much more conscientious and confident life.