Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Why—Teach your Kids Family History

Why do you think it’s important to share family history with children?

Admittedly, I struggled with this post. Not because I don’t believe that it’s important to share family history with my kids, but it’s hard to put my finger on WHY.

In preparation for this post the following video kept coming to mind, so I dug it up to share with you.

If just the simple concept of the importance of family to kids can be so powerful  (all for a food commercial, might I add), how powerful then can family be if you include generations of them? Generations of ancestors who came before, who sacrificed, who worked hard, who both succeeded and failed…generations of love and of hurt…generations of pressing on, and generations of families.

It's been my personal experience that Mulan isn't too far off.
 I say that with a bit of a tease, but there is something true about drawing on your ancestors' power, their strengths, and their help; and if you don't know them, and you don't know their stories, how can you draw on those strengths?  I've experienced it and even my young kids have experienced it.  In fact, my 8 year old daughter recently made up her own family history game. I recommend trying it with your young kiddos.
Grab a pedigree chart and a set of dice.  Gather the family or friends around and start rolling.  For each number that you roll, add that many items to the pedigree chart.  Sounds simple, but my husband and I, our two older kids, and my in-laws had a great time exploring our tree together.  The first one to complete their full pedigree chart wins.
Truth be told I couldn't pull the hubs and the grandpa away once they got going. They're the ones who usually pooh pooh it. ;)

The point is, try it.  Try it with your kids.  It doesn't need to be intricate or a well thought out approach--just start exploring your family tree and see how it feels.  There are so many resources out there--go tap into just one.  Then share your experience and help someone else to catch the same fire.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas about sharing family history with kids and teens. Use #FHforChildren to help keep the conversation going, and go visit our blog link up for more great insights: http://familylocket.com/why-share-family-history-with-children-blog-link-up/

Happy parenting, until next time!


  1. Phenomenal post, Olivia. Really. I hadn't seen that food commercial ... it had me crying! I love your daughter's dice/pedigree chart game. We'll give that a try.

  2. Love this - "if you don't know them, and you don't know their stories, how can you draw on those strengths?"

    So powerful! As a young teen I promised myself that I would know as much as I could know so that I could teach and share at any given moment. 30 years worth of learning ... and it is amazing how the stories come with ease in the moment they are needed. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I love that! Thanks for sharing. I never thought about how all the time I spend reading my family's histories is just building the database for when my family might need the stories. I'm a first generation genealogist so I didn't have many stories told to me, but it makes so much sense. Thanks!

  3. I love that video! It's definitely powerful to see that kids just want to be with family while sometimes us adults get distracted. I've been thinking about Mulan lately in connecting with family history as well! And we will try the dice game, great idea!