You don’t say!
Here’s something very interesting I found on the wonderful Design Mom blog. This article in The New York Times tells us that new research shows that “the single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative.”
Kids who know a lot about their families “tend to do better when they face challenges.”
This does not surprise me, but it’s nice, I suppose, to have it officially validated.
The more children know about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of self-control, the higher their self-esteem. The researchers were “blown away” by this. Not I.
The “oscillating family narrative” is the healthiest, the article goes on to say. You know, we’ve had our set-backs, but this family has always stuck together through thick and thin…That kind of thing.
The key is really just talking to your kids. It’s hard to imagine that people don’t actually do that, but I guess they don’t.
The article goes on to advise that families work on ways to convey a sense of history: holidays, vacations, big family get-togethers. This got me thinking about our own little family traditions, such as “Compton Family Fun Night,” which consisted of every Friday going to Steak ‘N Shake for dinner and then on to Sam’s Club to buy groceries in bulk. We got the idea for the name from “Tanner Family Fun Night” on Full House, of course.
The Tanners would always do something super-fun like going roller skating or to an arcade. But it just goes to show you that all that is unnecessary–a trip to the big box store, if labeled “Fun Night”–can be just that. Good times, man!
You can see how this works in an elementary school child’s psyche. It gives a positive and fun spin to routine activities that thereby become special to your family. All is okay in the world.
Another “tradition” in our family is that when pulling into our street and/or driveway I would always say “Home again, home again, jiggety jig!” I did this because my mother always did. I think she did because her mother did. (I still think it every time I get home. Yes, I am that crazy old lady.) I have no doubt that at least one of my children will unconsciously do it as well.
In our family we have always loved our ancestors. Anyone who reads this blog knows that! It’s not that our ancestors are better than anyone else’s. It’s that they are ours. In all their eccentricities, they belong to us.
We do know where we come from. And, see, that’s a good thing!