Ed. Note: This post first appeared on the CASA FamilyDay blog. Read the original post here.
Learn more tips on how fathers can share stories about their family history with their children to help them to value both their heritage and who they are as individuals. With our NRFC Spotlight on Dads Forever Family: Ancestors Who Shaped Our Lives, available in English and Spanish.
Knowing their family’s history can be a source of strength for your kids. Research has found that kids who know more about their parents’ and their ancestors’ lives are more resilient. Sharing the family’s history, including traditions, also encourages bonding.
The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to explore your family history with your kids and to create new memories for future generations. Here are some suggestions:
- Storytelling - Because holidays bring families together, this is a great time to ask everyone to share stories from their childhood. While positive and funny memories are always the best, don’t shy away from talking about the tough times. When children learn about how their ancestors bounced back from difficulty, it helps them feel more confident about facing their own challenges.
- Photo albums - Gather your children and pull out those family photo albums. As you go through it, share stories and memories about the people in the pictures. Now is a great time to print and add some new pictures from the past year.
- Decorations - Decorating together can give kids a sense of belonging and a deeper connection to the holiday. Whether it’s cleaning up, hanging lights, stringing popcorn, or making ornaments, help kids find a way to be part of the process. If you have decorations or ornaments that are special to your family share the story behind those items with your kids. Add your child’s name, age, and the year on the back of special ornaments and decorations you create together. This makes them a part of your family’s history! It will be fun to unpack them every year and remember the fun time you had making them.
- Traditions - Nothing makes a family feel more like a family then having its own traditions. You can create new traditions or enact old ones. Share with kids the history behind old traditions and what you love about creating new ones with them. Don’t be afraid of being silly, sometimes the silliest traditions are the most beloved. After all, it’s the traditions, not the gifts, that your kids will remember when they grow up.
Family Day is a national initiative created by The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse to promote simple acts of parental engagement as key ways to help prevent risky substance use in children and teens. Learn more about CASA Family Day on their website.