More than 90% of teenagers and young adults can retell family stories when asked
Family stories around the dinner table seem to be a thing of the past with our on-the-move lifestyles. A survey found that 40 percent of American families eat dinner together only three or fewer times a week, with 10 percent never eating dinner together at all. With the decline of shared meals runs the risk of losing out on family narratives. Think of how many “how was your day” questions into a night of laughing and sharing stories around the table? While many blame a younger generation for disconnecting from people, the reality is not so.
Studies show that more than 90% of teenagers and young adults can retell family stories when asked, even if they seemed uninterested when the stories were told. Largely, we know that these family stories not only connect generations and bridge gaps but also help build a sense of identity in younger generations.
Stories of heritage and coming to America as a first-generation immigrant become how we form cultural identity even though we may be separated from the history of it all.
Stories of hardships and loss shaped the way we handled our own struggles and how we took on adversity.
Stories of love and friendship formed the way we made our own relationships, raised our children and made connections.
But, when the opportunities to share these stories start to dwindle away, how can we ensure that those stories aren’t lost for future generations?
Ask questions. Ask the important ones, the silly ones, the ones that make you stop and think. Ask everything you ever wanted to know. Make it an event your loved one will look forward to. Or surprise them with a notebook with questions written down so they can leave you advice and stories even when daily life pulls you away.
If you’re having a difficult time finding the right words, ask these questions before it’s too late:
- Who is one person from your childhood you’ll never forget?
- How has your life changed over the years?
- What has made you the proudest?
- Who is the most influential person you’ve ever known?
- Did you believe in love at first sight?
- What was the most rewarding moment of your life?
- What do you regret the most?
- If you could go back, how would you do life differently?
You may think this is silly. But when you have these memories and moments to look back on, you won’t have unanswered questions, just memories to cherish forever.
Take those moments a step further and give your family the gift of a LifeBook. A LifeBook Memoirs. It’s the gift that gives back.