Good Life

Fathering | Tell your kids family stories

Recently I was telling my 11-year-old about my Scottish grandfather, and how he and his family came to this country in the 1920s. There were struggles, triumphs and lots of funny incidents — all part of the narrative.

My son listened intently, wanting more details, and I was reminded just how much my kids love hearing these stories, and that I don’t share these tales enough.

This is especially relevant as my kids’ grandparents live out of state — and so these “historians” rarely get to share these stories themselves.

Action ideas:

•  Think about your childhood. Did your parents tell family stories? If so, was it at dinner, bedtime, during family gatherings, or another time?

•  Consider regularly sharing with your kids stories from your childhood. Some of these will undoubtedly be purely entertaining, while others will have a lesson or a relevance to what’s going on in your children’s lives.

•  Beyond stories, spend time looking at family photo albums, mementos, letters, and other prompts that are part of your family’s heritage and history. Think about doing a family genealogy project together.