If there is one thing that is guaranteed to help get you through tough times, and bring a smile to everyone’s face, it’s those moments when families recall a great memory.
This is not simply a source of comfort. Psychologists believe that shared stories are the glue which hold families together and gives them the most positive connections.
New and Old Memories Make Good Stories
It’s not just about creating opportunities to make great memories together either, and then replaying them over a warm and loving discussion.
Creating a rich and nurturing “library” of family stories also means sharing information about experiences, incidents, obstacles and important events that other family members weren’t even present for.
Why Family Stories Matter to Grown up Children
Author Bruce Feiler summed it up: “The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.”
Research has shown that shared stories are the sort of bonding and enforcement that builds resilience and confidence in children.
This is reflected in the view of author Susan Lieberman, who wrote: “Family traditions counter alienation and confusion. They help us define who we are; they provide something steady, reliable and safe in a confusing world.”
Best Ways to Share Family Stories
A great way to share stories and relive memories is to go through digital or actual photo albums and video clips.
However, shared stories don’t have to be actual lived experiences, remember. Children benefit from stories from their own parents’ early years. Knowing how their parents met, where they married and who their relatives and friends were provides a reassuring context for their own lives.
This means it is high time that older people dug around in their attic or garage, so they can transfer cine films to DVD. What a great way to bond over memories from the past and create new family narrative.
In those moments when your children or grandchildren laugh at your 1940s haircut or express horror about your 1960s fashion choices, keep in mind that you are giving them more shared stories to enjoy.