|A love story with a trailer|
Photo Credit:Michal Zacharzewski SXC
There's nothing traditional about how I came to meet a Dutchman, sell up my flat in Watford, England and move to the Netherlands to make a new life and so it makes for some awesome story telling for our curious children at the stage where they want to know everything that happened before they arrived on the scene.
Last week, a great blog post by Drie Culturen asked whether there was a difference between children and adults living abroad. In the post, Janneke argues that there is a big difference, namely because adults living abroad have already formed their own identity but a child's identity is still evolving. Whilst she talks about children from the point of view of them growing up abroad her tips are still relevant for those of us raising children in a country where they are native but we, as a parent, are not. She talks about helping children to form their own identity by telling stories about their heritage. She says tell your children stories about their grandparents. I couldn't agree more. And I would also add tell them about your own life back in your home country, about growing up in another country. Tell them their parent's love story. Tell them their birth story. Tell them every story you can think of about their family.
|Not all stories need come from books. Share your|
family stories with your children
Photo Credit: Patrick Nijhuis
"The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned."
That's quite something - research showed that children who have a good knowledge of their own family and past functioned better in challenging situations. Brian Gresko followed this topic up in an article and wrote,
"Storytelling has benefits beyond entertainment, which explains why humans have been telling stories for as long as we know. It’s one of the elements that makes us human, I think.........Having a shared story, a shared collection of memories, is a powerful unifying force between people – whether those stories be ones we tell as a nation, an ethnic group, a workforce, or a family."
And as expats, we have some amazing stories to tell our children.... so what are you waiting for? Share those stories today!
What stories do you tell your children about the country you were born in? What stories do you tell about grandparents and your brothers and sisters growing up? I would love to hear your stories!