Wednesday, April 29, 2015

What Values Are You Passing on to Your Children?

A couple of years ago I read an article in the New York Times called Stories That Bind Us by Bruce Feiler. Strong families have a strong narrative. Did your parents and grandparents tell you their stories? What are your family tales of struggle, success, and fun? Do you share them with your children? We can find our way along the path of life if we know what's happened on the road in the past.

My great great grandfather came to the United States from Denmark. He was a wealthy dairyman who sold his possessions to emigrate. The story is told of his generosity in helping others come to this country who couldn't afford the passage.

My great grandmother married and settled in a small town in rural Idaho. She became a midwife and helped mothers all over the county give birth.

My grandmother was widowed at a young age. She found employment as a social worker even before such government agencies became well established.


My mother was also widowed when I was a small child. She went back to school, earned a PhD, and taught at a university, helping many of her students find a better life and launch their own careers.

After our children were all in school, I became licensed as  Marriage and Family Therapist, establishing a large practice in Las Vegas. I worked with families of all shapes and sizes.
Each of our children has followed a different career path: a math teacher, a baker, a kindergarten teacher, a librarian, a salesman, and an artist.
But all their paths contain the gift of service to others. This way was firmly established for all of us by our great great grandfather, and has come down through the ages as a mantra for all of us because of our family stories.
What are your family stories?

Talk about the strengths, the struggles, and the triumphs you and your family have experienced. Stories are your path to wholeness. If you see your stories as tales of failure, look more closely and find the courage and hidden valor of your ancestors. They are there.

Happy story telling!

Here's a link to the entire New York Times article.

1 comment:

  1. I really loved your thoughts on this subject. There was a conference talk recently and another article about the importance of sharing your family stories and experiences with your children and grandchildren. In doing so they have found that children handle adversity and life circumstances better. I have a blog just for my grandchildren that I hope to do exactly that; tell our stories. Blessings and hugs for this one dear friend!