Stories That Bind Us

In the March 17th edition of “Sunday Styles” in the NY Times an interesting article entitled The Stories That Bind Us. The subtitle states “Children who know their family’s history are better at facing challenges,” and most reputable psychologists agree. So, how much do your kids know about their family’s history? Here’s an example of the kinds of questions you can ask your kids to measure their family history quotient: Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know of an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth? Psychologists believe that every family has its “unifying narrative,” and there are three basic stories: The Ascending Family Narrative, the Descending Family Narrative, and the Oscillating Family Narrative. Which one is best, in terms of nurturing your child’s sense of family? Read the article and see! I found this information especially relevant to me, because I come from what I consider a dysfunctional family.

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