Telling the story of a family and preserving family history can be effectively achieved by using family narratives. Family narratives are a way for children and adolescents to connect across generations to their identities and to their heritage.
Having a sense of place and security in family history can make you feel more confident and competent. Family narratives are used to guide children through life’s challenges. It’s important that parents and grandparents pay attention to their family history and create strong family narratives for their kids and grandkids.

Family Narrative Ideas for Beginners

No matter if you’re creating your own family narrative or helping a loved one, it’s important to tell it as a story. Tell it from the person’s point of view. When writing, use first-person tense like “I” or “my.”

Family looking at an albumAs your family narrative will become a living legacy, create it in a way that will truly speak to the next generation. Write the narrative as if you are telling the story aloud to someone else.

If you are helping someone else, allow them to share the story orally and capture the story exactly as they tell it. Allowing them to be the storyteller will make it more personal. It will also give future generations a glimpse of what it was like to speak directly with them.

Before you get started, make a timeline. Take a piece of paper and list out each year you, or your loved one has been alive. Then divide that into life chapters: early childhood, school days, marriage, getting married, having kids, and other life milestones. This will make it easier to capture the important stories and prevent you from leaving things out.

When you have a timeline laid out, it also removes pressure. Now stories can be told and captured in any order. As you work your way through the timeline, you can also use memory triggers, like photos or keepsakes, to help spark conversations.

Another beautiful way to capture a family narrative is to incorporate memories and stories from other people. Ask your brother to share a favorite story about your grandmother. Or ask your mom what it was like to grow up with your grandmother. These captured memories will help to weave the family narrative and preserve your family history.

Need More Family Narrative Inspiration?

Once you’ve begun the process, you’ll find that it not only is creating a family legacy, but it is creating currently memories for you and your loved one. Creating a family narrative is a beautiful way to share and grow closer with those around you.

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