Young children are not necessarily interested in listening to Grandma regale them with family stories of years passed, but as time passes and the children become adults the tales that make up a family’s legacy can become lost as the older generation passes on. One day that person is in their 40’s, wishing he or she knew more about their heritage or how make a secret family recipe. Even if your grandchildren are not interested now, take the challenge to preserve your family’s history for them later. This can be a particularly meaningful activity for Providence in home care clients to take part.
There are a myriad of ways to save family stories, photos, and mementos. One way is to create family trees and document collections through a site like ancestry.com. Information about ancestors can be found that you may not even have known yourself. You can also create your own paper version through a memory box or scrap booking. Label those old photos of relatives the young ones may not know.
Other ways to pass on family history is to record an oral collection of memories or have someone dig up the old home videos. The VHS tapes that may be damaged, or lack a VCR to play them on, can be turned into DVD format.
The days of cooking big family meals may be nothing more than a memory, but the recipes don’t have to be. Give your cookbooks and recipe cards to the next generation. If a special dish has been made from memory, write it down or have children and grandchildren over for a day in the kitchen. Sit back, supervise, and instruct while they cook for you, and then share a meal together. Another idea is create your own cookbook using an online publishing tool (some assistance may be necessary for individuals who are not technologically savvy).
Passing on family history may be more important than you think. Children who know about their family, such as where their grandparents grew up, how their parents met, or a story about their birth, have a stronger sense of control, face adversity better, and have higher self-esteem. Take the time now, rather than putting the task off. Memories are irreplaceable.