ways to grow your intergenerational circle

Family Stories to Share with Our Kids

October has certainly flown right by, and here we are in its last week already. Although this last week of October is all about Halloween, November is still standing there staring right at us. So as we approach this next month, let’s think about November’s themes. Of course, there is Thanksgiving, but November has other themes as well. The entire month of November is also Family Stories Month. What a great thing for us to share with our kids in the coming month! Family stories go right along with our thankfulness efforts. So as we close out October with our Halloween fun, let’s think of some family stories to share with our kids in November.

What is a family story?

A family story is simply something from our own past or stories that our families have passed down to us. And family stories don’t have to be epic. We just share about what our lives were like as children, or the places our parents lived when they were children. A family story can be our college experience or our first job. They can tell our kids how we got really good at something or why we are so fearful about something.

Any story from your past or from your family’s past is a family story. This may sound really boring or even self-centered, but it does really great things for our kids to hear these stories. You may already have a bunch of family stories in mind, or it may take some time to think of some family stories to share with your kids. Either way, it’s worth taking the time to think about it and to tell your stories.

Family Stories give us a sense of belonging

Knowing where we came from, how our family has grown, and how we fit into our families are each important to a sense of belonging. When we feel like we belong to something, it lessens our stress levels and provides a sense of support. A feeling of belonging helps us to feel accepted instead of isolated, like we are part of something bigger. This feeling does wonders for our mental health and personal resiliency. 

Family stories can also help our current families grow closer together. They can help our kids feel more connected to us. For example, I sympathize with my child who is afraid to go under water. While she appreciates this, it doesn’t help her very much. But when I shared the story of the event in my childhood that made me fearful of water, she felt a connection. She knows that I really do understand, and she is inspired to conquer her fear when she sees me trying to do so as well. There’s a family story at work, building a connection that actually makes a difference. When I encourage her to be brave now and not to put it off, she doesn’t feel nagged or pushed. The story helps her to know where this comes from, and it inspires her to keep trying.

Use family photos too

While we tell our family stories, let’s get out our old family photos. My kids love to go through my old pictures from my childhood. And these photos open the way for us to tell the stories that go along with them. So break out the old pictures and let your kids look at them. They might help you to think of stories you had forgotten about and remember some family stories to share with your kids.

Signs for family stories

Our Signing Time Dictionary has tons of signs with instructions for how to do them. You can use the categories on the sidebar, or you can search for a word or phrase in the search bar. To start with, it’s always fun to begin a story with “Once upon a time…”

And at My Signing Time, we have some shows about stories too. In our Signing Time Classic Collection we have Story Time, where Rachel reads stories and teaches bunches of signs to go along with them. It has signs for family members, everyday items, and activities that could go along with your family stories. You can find it in your My Signing Time subscription. And if you don’t have a subscription, you can try it out with a 14-day free trial

What family stories can you share with your kids?

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