Do your children and grandchildren know the story of how your parents met? How about your grandparents? There are many stories in your family just waiting to be remembered and shared, stories of happy times, triumph, adventure, war stories, and love stories.
This is a great time to share life stories with your loved ones, either during your phone calls or at home. Sharing stories can help you connect in stressful times.
One of the biggest challenges to connecting through story sharing may be getting started. For some, it may come naturally to just say, “Let’s all share a story about our lives and everyone participates,” but for many, this may present a challenge with not knowing what to talk about. Here are some ideas to help get you started.
Bring out the photo album. If you are staying with family members, invite them to come look through the albums with you. Pick out photos that bring up memories for you. Are there funny stories that you have about any of the individuals in the photos? Did you have a friend or sibling who was a bit of a troublemaker? Younger generations are more likely to have their photos on their phones. Invite them to share pictures of them having fun with their friends.
Is there something from your life that few people know about? Maybe engage the family in a round of two truths and a lie. If you are staying apart, this game can be adapted to be done over text messages. Each person thinks of two things that are true of them and one that is completely made up. This should be challenging for people to guess and can lead to some great story sharing and usually a lot of laughs and an opportunity to share details of the story of some surprising truths!
Whether you are connecting on the phone or at home, start by inviting family members to think of questions they want to know about you that they never asked. For example, what is your favorite book and what do you have in common with one of the character’s and why? What character do you most relate to? Return the favor of showing interest by asking questions in return.
Is there a story behind a favorite family recipe? What are some treasured recipes in your family? Perhaps you have a special holiday dish or dessert?
Whenever you are sharing stories with loved ones, try to remember to be open and honest, though a little embellishment on some details that may be blurry can also make it fun. Also invite the grandkids to participate with their stories and listen without judgment. What are you waiting for? Call your loved ones and start a new family tradition!
Tiffany Curtin is the Adult Literacy Specialist with Douglas County Libraries. For additional information, questions, or resources needed, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is hosted by the Seniors’ Council of Douglas County. For more information, visit www.MyDougCoSeniorLife.com, email DCSeniorLife@douglas.co.us or call 303-663-7681.
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