My children love stories! From story books to stories of me or them as children, they simply eat it up. Their faces light up and they ask for more and more until I finally have to call it quits because I’m out of stories or breath, whichever comes first.
I have a favorite story for each of my children and they will often request ‘their story’. I then have to retell the time my oldest snuck downstairs and collected all the Easter eggs before his siblings (or parents!) were up. Or the time my youngest smashed into her birthday cake with such fervor we had to take her outside and squirt her down with the hose. It doesn’t matter that they’ve heard the stories over and over again or that I may forget details from one time to the next, they love it and they want to hear them.
The stories don’t get more exciting the more I tell them and they certainly don’t change, but it’s a part of their history, giving them a sense of self. Hearing stories of themselves as babies and toddlers aides in their sense of identity and fills in the gaps of who they are and what they did.
Likewise, my children love hearing stories of my childhood. I bet you did the same as a child, sitting wide-eyed listening to your parents talk about “in the olden days”. It gives us a sense of belonging and joy to hear stories of those we love. It connects us in a way that reminds us we are not alone in our journey.
Our children need to know their stories matter. The good, the bad and the ugly has made them who they are and who they are is a valued member of your family. It is essential that our children are invested in their past and we can encourage that by investing in this moment and sharing their stories.