Are You Your Children’s Storyteller?
When my daughter-in-law lost both her parents within a year after her marriage, part of her sadness was expressed in her plea, “Who will tell my stories?”
She was very far-sighted.
When her daughter was born several years later, I found I could hardly note a look, a step, a mark of growth without telling a story about my son at that age.
It was, of course, completely unbalanced, so I eventually asked friends and neighbors of her parents to share their stories about my awesome daughter-in-law.
Now, my grandchildren are old enough that I get to tell them the stories of their fathers.
And, as I make annual photo books of the grandchildren, I have taken the opportunity to insert photos of their father at their age.
Dr. Bettye M. Caldwell, Ph.D, is Professor of Pediatrics in Child Development and Education.
She is an expert on the Fisher-Price.com site for grandparents.
She describes the importance and fun of story-telling between grandparents and grandchildren, in her article, “A Simple Approach to Grandparenting Fun.”
“Be the official biographer.
“When the children cry, “Tell me a story!” what comes to mind?
“Jack and Jill,” “The Three Little Pigs,” “Cinderella?”
“How about real stories guaranteed to make their eyes grow wide and your heart beat pitter-pat?
“Stories about your children will entertain them more than make-believe, and these stories will help your grandchildren see their folks in a different light.
“Bring out your old photo albums. Children love to see their parents as youngsters.
“Comparing looks and behavior helps them understand growing up, lets them poke harmless fun at their parents, and allows you all to have a great time.
“Tell them about your daughter’s first visit from the Tooth Fairy, when she cried because she wanted her tooth back.
“Tell them about your son’s third birthday party, when he smeared cake all over his face.
“Stories like these will trigger warm memories for you — things you may have forgotten.
“You’ll enjoy your children all over again.
“You’ll remember the pains you went through to cheer up your daughter and how much trouble it was to make your son’s clown-shaped cake.
“You’ll feel pride at the considerate things you did and realize that, despite your natural misgivings, you really were a good parent.”
Think about the stories you can tell your own grandchildren.
Their parents’ stories are their stories, connecting them to a larger family, a distant time, and the values you share.
And, if you want to start showing them their family roots, click here to go to ancestry.com and write in your names and your parents’ names to start your family tree, connecting your grandchildren to their stories.
Thank you, Fisher-Price, for your excellent advice.
Carol Covin, Granny-Guru
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