Our (grand)children have an entitlement to their story, their history and that means an entitlement to our history, our stories.
We can write stories down, there are great examples of journals that prompt us to tell our stories. I am encouraging you to tell your stories through the give and take of an interactive conversation.
Some of my fondest memories are of the telling of family stories, my family history and in a perfect world we will do both.
Take the time over a meal, a coffee, as you tuck them into bed, while driving them somewhere, over Skype or Face Time to tell them about:
1) The New Years traditions in your parental home.
2) Your favourite childhood New Years Eve memory.
I have a strong memory of being danced in my Uncle Clifford’s arms, at one of my parents New Years Eve parties. I was in my PJs have gotten out of bed and tiptoe down stairs to watch the dancers.
3) A New Years tradition you created for your children and the reasons behind it.
Remember that doing nothing is still a tradition and there will be a reason.
4) A New Year’s resolution you kept, your motivation to keep it and how you felt.
5) Talk about your best childhood friend, how you met, and your most vivid memory of them.
6) Talk about if you stayed in touch and if not why not.
7) If your parents or grandparents shared any of their memories on these topics share them with your (grand)children.
8) Tell them about a favourite aunt or uncle on your mother’s side of the family and the reason they were/are your favourite.
9) Share with them your most embarrassing moment as a child and how you dealt with the embarrassment.
10) Talk about a time you were unjustly punished as a child, how you felt and what you did about it. Are you proud of reaction? How this event impacted your relationship with your parents?
In telling your stories remember to consider the age and life experience of the listener and gear your language and details to the youngest person listening.
My experience is that as children get older they will ask to hear your stories again, allowing you to fill in more mature details when appropriate.
Also remember that once told your story becomes part of their history and will change as it is retold by them – the story is no longer yours to alone.