Stories have been told since the dawn of time. Under a starry sky. Beside a crackling fire. Snuggled in blankets, heads on pillows. Around a dinner table, silverware softly clinking on plates.
Stories are the glue that fastens the past to the present with meaningful purpose. Sometimes we don’t even know how powerful a story is until we hear it released from our own lips or those of a family member. Whispered in a secret hush, hollered aloud like a gust of wind, excitement, and energy bestowed on every word, stories are magic. Telling a story is like opening up a plain old tin can without a label. No one knows what’s inside, but everyone is dying to find out.
I have always loved hearing the stories of my grandparents. One of my favorites is about my Grandpa as a teenager. He worked in a bakery and, to woo my grandma, he made a giant heart out of bread dough. He delivered it to her hot from the oven early one morning and left it on her doorstep.
I imagine younger versions of them – my jolly grandpa nervously delivering his heart-bread to my bold and sassy grandma. I picture her smiling and laughing when she opened her door that day.
Storytelling not only remembers the consequential history of our grandparents, and their grandparents, but it also connects us to each other in the present. Stories weave us into a place of sharing in ways that we otherwise might never experience together – laughter, joy, fear, sorrow, excitement, silliness, love, hope.
We are all storytellers. Anyone who has taken a walk, gone to school, kissed a girl, gotten a job, taken a trip, lost a tooth, lost a friend, or played a sport, has a story to tell. Children want to hear it all. They want to know deeply the people they love the most.
Document and pass down your family stories
There are many ways to document or record your family stories. Spend a long winter or spare evening sifting through devices and albums and create a photo book that incorporates family lore and history. For even more nostalgia, record stories and preserve the sounds of family across multiple generations. The Voiceshare App by Wavhello is a great way to record songs, stories, and messages from loved ones. The audio clips can be stored, organized, and played remotely for your child using the cuddly Soundbub Bluetooth speaker. Tell stories together at your next family gathering to create long-lasting audio mementos.
Parent Co. partnered with WavHello because they believe in the bonding power of storytelling.
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Stories about family history
What were your parents’ religions?
Stories about Experiences
Stories about people
Stories about “how?” and “why?”
How did you learn to fish, hunt, ride a bike, sew, cook, paint, or play piano, etc.?
How to tell a story
Memories are stories. The more you start sharing them, the more you remember, and the more stories you’ll want to share!
Everyone has a story
We might not think our own stories are exciting or interesting. But the truth is that they are each uniquely and meticulously created over time and with fascinating detail. Each experience and emotion, each interaction we have ever known, is important.
Our families – made up of generations of stories – are like a treasure trove of golden moments just waiting to be heard. Loves and losses, triumphs and falls, trips of adventure and times of sticking around and holding on tight. Relationships close and far, deep and distant, short and long lasting. How amazing to hear them all!