Updated: Dec 30, 2020
Do you share stories of your past with your children? Just as sharing stories about our ancestors helps children develop a connection to their ancestors, children build a stronger bond with parents when they know more about you. Talking about what you were like, how you dealt with situations and events in your life gives your child a real opportunity to know who you are and what past situations may have played a part in who you are today.
The stories that you share with your kids will depend on when you think they are able to understand the information you are telling them. A four-year-old might enjoy stories of your childhood, such as a time you experience a snake in your backyard. What about sharing your experiences in school when you were your child's age? Schools have changed from when we were kids. Comparing notes about how schools are today will give your child a different view of how schools have changed and grown. I remember one time my daughter asked me if I ever got in trouble for using my cell phone in school. I never thought about the idea that she would have thought I had a phone in school. Of course, I thought about just telling her no and leaving it at that, but I told her that I didn't have the opportunity to because they weren't invented yet. You will easily be able to judge what stories are age-appropriate to share with your child(ren).
You do not need to fear that you do not have anything of interest to share with your child. Sharing your stories is about letting your kids know about your life. One day they can share those stories with their children. Sharing stories of pets, holidays, vacations, days spent with friends or family, toys and so many other topics opens opportunities to bond with your child. If your child is going through something like starting a new school or if they are upset that you won't purchase them something that they really want, see if you have a story from your past that might help your child. Your story might even trigger inspiration because your child has gained an understanding of how they might be able to handle their feelings. Sharing stories during difficult times or to spark a conversation allows you to connect with one another.
Sharing stories of your life with your children can be done at any time. During a car ride, a family meal, walking the dog, or even sitting around.
None of us knows what the future holds. My children missed out on hearing my late husband talk about his childhood because they were young when he was KIA. Luckily they have been able to hear stories from their grandparents. Do not hold off talking about your past with your children. I have always talked about mine with my children. I feel like we have a tighter bond than I had with my mother who never talked about her time growing up.
I hope this post will help inspire you to share your stories with your children.