Use that Downtime to Tell Family Stories

Many schools are still closed and remote learning could well be the norm into 2021. No doubt kids are getting bored, even with the cool electronics they were thrilled to have unlimited access just months ago. Here’s a suggestion: Covid-induced quarantine is a perfect time to go retro, and introduce story time. I’m not talking about reading a book about someone else’s adventures. The idea is to spend some time telling your own, real-life family stories to the kids. Grandparents or other relatives not in the same household can use zoom or facetime or whatever app.

The benefits of family storytelling have actually been documented. In 2017, I was fortunate to participate in a client session we held with Marshall Duke, Ph.D., who spoke at LNWM about his research on family story telling. Dr. Duke’s insights are even more valuable today, due to the anxiety and stress caused by Covid-19. In a nutshell, Dr. Duke found that how you tell family stories and the mix of stories you tell can create an emotional reserve for younger generations as they face their own challenges, while also helping to pass on a legacy and unite a family.

After reading what Dr. Duke has to say in the above Q&A, you will have more conviction asking everyone to shut down their devices for 15 to 20 minutes to hear a story or two. And as Dr. Duke says, you might even want to come up with a family motto and a family crest. Where family storytelling takes you may surprise you! The important thing is to keep it real.