How to Share Your Stories with the Next Generation
By Rachel Schmoyer
You have a lifetime of memories to share with the next generation. You know it is important to share them (You Need to Share Your Stories with the Next Generation), but how can you share your stories? You might be afraid that it will feel forced or awkward. What if no one is interested?
There are lots of different ways to share your stories with the next generation. Read through the list and see which method would best suit your personality and your family’s style.
Here’s how to share your stories with the next generation:
Write them down
My mother has done a lot of research on our family ancestry. She is currently working on writing a one page essay on each family member. She includes the basic facts and any anecdotes she knows. She includes a picture of the person’s signature and tombstone if she has it. I am so thankful that she is working on this project so that all her work is out of her head and down on paper! The essays will be an easy way to pass on the story of our family from one generation to the next.
You don’t need to write essays. You could write emails, letters, journals, or even dedicate a website to your memories. Include a memory in a birthday or Christmas card. Some families have Facebook groups for staying in touch, but these Facebook pages could also be used to collect memories from different family members. You may even go all in on sharing your memories and write your memoir.
“Did I ever tell you about the time…?”
If you can’t think of how to bring it up, you can start your stories with a question. Ask your family member if they remember a certain event and listen to their memory before you share yours. It may feel awkward at first, but the more you talk about your memories, the more natural it will become.
Share birthday or holiday memories
If you are worried about your story sharing coming across as forced or unnatural, start with sharing memories related to a special event. Going to a birthday party for an 18 year old? Share memories of your 18th birthday. Ask others at the party what they remember about being 18 years old.
Go through old pictures together
Share a photograph or two at a time and tell a story about it. A visual can help with the memory and help the next generation be able to picture what you are talking about. Write the details in pencil on the back of your photo.
You could also host a full blown movie event. Organize your home movies and invite the family over for a special showing. Narrate what you remember as you go through the videos. Provide copies of the home movies, too, for the next generation.
Create a captive audience
The dinner table is a great place to find a captive audience. After the dishes are passed and the plates are full of food, take the opportunity to share your stories. If you pick just one or two memories ahead of time, you will be ready to share when the moment comes.
There are many other ways you can share your stories with the next generation. Have an idea? Let us know! Comment below.
About the Author
Rachel Schmoyer is a pastor’s wife and mom of four. She blogs about finding simple truths in complex passages of Scripture at Read the Hard Parts. She also writes about parenting and other adventures at Rachel Schmoyer Writes. If she is not writing, she is probably reading, most likely a biography of one of the First Ladies of the United States.
You can connect with Rachel online on Twitter.
You can read Rachel's "Family Life" column on the 4th Monday each month here at Pandora's Box Gazette.