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4 Practical Ideas on Sharing Family Stories

4 Practical Ideas on Sharing Family Stories

4 Practical Ideas on Sharing Family Stories

Every family has hidden treasure in their stories, and it just takes a little effort to unlock this power. The reason stories matter so much is because they shape your family identity and serve as valuable teaching tools to pass on wisdom and values from one generation to the next. If you are looking for how to start sharing family stories, keep reading for how to turn stories into your tool to build a lasting legacy.

1. Connect Stories to Values

As you teach your family about values, one of the easiest ways to make this practical is to share the stories that illustrate these. You could share examples from past generations or it could be as simple as giving an illustration that happened recently as a way to encourage and affirm behaviors. In fact, did you know that research has shown that the more children know about their families, the more resilient they become, in addition to lower levels of anxiety and feeling more prepared to make decisions?

2. Share Stories at Family Gatherings

If your family has older children, it may not be as easy to incorporate stories into everyday interactions. As another option, you can use intentional spaces like family gatherings to have a dedicated time to share stories and ask questions. Maybe it looks like gathering children or grandkids with their grandparents to ask about a particular event that happened, or it could be having a set time to ask people to share a story or update on life. This starts to create a natural way for people to know the family stories and to participate in them.

3. Use Seasons of Challenge to Share Family Stories

When your family is walking through challenging circumstances, this actually can be a place where stories hold the most power and purpose. Going through pain often means it is hard to lift our heads up and find hope or perspective. This is where stories come in as a way to give vision, comfort, hope, and empathy. If you struggle with the right words to encourage, stories may be the tool you need to give strength and ultimately to reinforce what matters most.

4. Create Documentation of Family Stories

“When an elder dies, a library burns” is an African proverb, but it is applicable to all our family stories. While it may seem simple, we need ways to preserve family stories. The oral storytelling practice is less common in our society today, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t take advantage of the tools at our disposal to preserve stories. 

Consider the favorite mediums your family may want to use not only to preserve stories but also so that they can return to them again and again. Here are a few ideas:

  • Create a shared document where stories are added to at set points during the year. (ie. at birthdays, once a quarter, during a family meeting, etc.)
  • Create a family history book with photos, letters, and anecdotes to capture your family's journey. 
  • Set up a video and media library where recordings can be added to and rewatched. Consider setting up an intentional time these are revisited.

Grow Further with Family Stories

As you take these ideas for sharing family stories, remember each story has the power to give insight into how your family should live for generations. By embracing these practical ideas, you honor the past and lay a foundation filled with connection and strength for the future. 

If you want further insights into how to identify the family stories that should be passed on and how to do this, be sure to check out our free guide on identifying and sharing your family stories.

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