Family Storytelling

Storytelling is an effective way to build quality time together with members of your family. It is also a terrific way to collect family memories, lore and folktales to save and pass from generation to generation…

Through stories, you can convey love, care, and traditions that make your family unique. The best time to begin this activity is while the family is sitting down together or perhaps while taking a ride somewhere. Ask the family members to remember special adventures they have shared. Select one such adventure that everyone remembers well. Ask one of the family members to act as a recorder and write down the story as the others describe it. Or, use a tape recorder if more convenient. Tape recording can be fun, especially for the younger children. In this way, the actual voices and laughter are preserved on the tape.

Include plenty of time for remembering, summing up, and sharing the past. This can be repeated from time to time to add more information to the story or so the family can collect a series of family tales. Good times to do this are at family reunions, family holidays and visits with the grandchildren. Christmas is a time when many extended family members get together, so plan early to include this in your holiday merriment. A guide for storytelling can be helpful.

You don’t have to do this at special events, however. Anytime is a good time to share a story with someone in the family. Storytelling is a great way to tell a family member about yourself or to convey that you understand what they are going through. You may find the time is right when a family member is in similar situation as one that you have experienced. Or you may want to record some tales while just sitting around the kitchen table on a rainy or snowy day. Need some other story starters? Try these:

Life As A Baby

Where I was born; getting mother to the hospital; the kind of baby I was or you were; first words; favorite toys or games; how they got me (or you) to stop crying; how my name (or yours) was chosen; funny things I (or you) did.

Life As A Little One

First playmates; things feared or believed in; favorite things to do; first pets; favorite foods; first things such as walking and singing; funny things I did.

Life As A Student

First day of school; what I did at recess; best friends; favorite year or teacher in school; pranks or tricks; field trips; sports and games; plays and programs; favorite subject; worst subject; favorite books and faerie tales.

Life As A Young Person

Learning to do things like ride a bike or skate; a lesson I learned the hard way; sleeping over with friends; summer camp; camping out; getting lost; being away from home; good luck; bad luck; an embarrassing moment; a time I was brave; secret codes; a time I was most afraid; a time I felt proud.

Life As I Enter Adult-hood

Falling in love; getting my first job; learning to drive; taking a trip; cooking a meal; leaving home; moving to a new house; meeting a new neighbor; joining a new club or church; decorating my home; redecorating my home; having children.

Ancestor Folktales

I have an extensive collection of family folktales from the Texas Dust Country, that have survived the years. Although most of them are tales of colateral family lines, they are none-the-less interesting.

Every time you share a story you share a part of yourself that will never be forgotten. Why not start a new tradition and share a family folktale today?

This is Dubh Sidhe

Virginia Marin

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