and November is Family Stories Month!
When we tell our kids family stories, they can learn what it is to be a part of their family...about their heritage...about the people they know and love...and, perhaps most important, about the people they never got to meet.
Don't forget: the most important family stories are the ones you tell your kids, prompted by whatever is happening in your collective lives. Did your youngest child tell a lie about who broke the vase? Tell her about a time when you lied, and how that felt and what happened next. Is your oldest about to start junior high? Tell him about your first few days at the big new school. Not every story has to have a deadly serious moral message—hopefully, you can remember embarrassing and funny stuff, too!
Some other family stories ideas:
Have everyone in the family write or dictate a true story about something that has happened that year. If some members can't think of a story, help by brainstorming. Read the stories out loud and then put them into a time capsule marked “Do Not Open Until _______.” Choose a time 5 or 10 years from the date you make the time capsule.
Of course, including other things into the time capsule, aside from the family stories, is an awesome idea. (Photos, newspaper headlines, last month's calendar marked with events and outings, almost anything!)
E-mail extended family members and ask them to submit family stories that all can share. Cut and paste their e-mail responses into a blog, or simply encourage people to Reply to All with their stories.
This tends to work best if you have a deadline of some sort—so plan to print out the stories as a gift for an elder's birthday, or come up with another occasion that will motivate busy people to respond.
Tell Us About Our Mom, Grandma!
It's a wonderful thing if your kids have the opportunity to ask their grandparents all about you or your spouse when you were their age. Of course, family elders are the source of LOTS of great family stories. Make sure to find out about their own childhood memories, too!