PARENTS AND LEADERS
WHY MAKE FAMILY HISTORY?
It Helps Create Resilient Children
It Helps Develop
Research is showing that kids who know their family history tend to be more resilient when facing life’s challenges. They know that they, like their family before, can bounce back from hard times and they understand that they belong to something greater than themselves.
It Connects Family
This approach to family history encourages the youth to spend time connecting with their living family members. There are elders and forgotten family members that need our love and attention; by expressing interest in their life stories we are expressing our interest and value in them.
Whether it’s learning a family recipe, video recording a family tradition, or discovering their family photos, this approach to family history allows the youth to connect with their families through engaging means. With a wide range of approaches to doing family history, teens and young adults will be able to use their various talents and interests to contribute to in family history work.
A Nigerian proverb warns, “Every time an old man dies a library is set ablaze.” There are stories that need to be told, memories that need to be recorded, and traditions that need to be taught.
A youth’s involvement in making family history can help strengthen their sense of personal and familial identity; they will find stories they can relate to, people they can aspire to, and a sense of belonging within a familial community.
It Continues Culture
Keeping family traditions, learning family stories, and carrying on the family namesake results in an important continuation of culture. This can create a sense of identity in our youth and deep satisfaction in our elders knowing that their traditions and culture will live on.
It Brings the Past
Tangible objects like heirlooms, pictures, and food will help create a sense of reality to a youth's family history. Stories and people turn into a physical reality when the youth can touch, feel, and explore tangible aspects of their family's past.
It's a Stepping Stone
Making current family history is a stepping stone to geneology research. By capturing the stories of those who are still living the youth will also discover many stories of those who have passed. The creation of family history is the spark that will ignite the desire in many youth to want to know more about their ancestors.