- Know your ancestors.
›Start with what you know but don’t wait until you feel like you know everything.
- Know your family members.
›Know their attention span.
›Know what interests and hobbies they have.
›Have a good relationship with them.
My grandfather, bless his heart, would sit the grandkids down when I was about 8 (I was the oldest grandchild) and have a "talk" with us. He did the former but he didn't do so well with the latter. I remember being really squirmy and I don't remember anything he said, except that it was important to him and I was supposed to sit still. What I would give to be able to have a talk like that with him now--but my attention span is different now.Now, some more specific principles about how to get going:
- Start with an attention getter.
›If you make it boring it will be
›Photos, games, stories are generally good places to start.
- Don’t underestimate their abilities and interest level.
- Leave them something to figure out.
- Don’t lecture.
- Every little encounter is a little more they know about their family.
- When one comes, others will follow.
But the biggest rule about sharing your family history with your family is:
If you make it part of your life, and they are involved with your life, it can come naturally. It doesn't have to be an event (although it can be). Teaching your family about your family's history can be a way of life that evolves over time--something you just are because you know where you come from.
Get ready. Lots of ideas to come...