Back to the local library and I found a book called The Secrets of Happy Families by Bruce Feiler. Although I did not agree with everything in the book, I was so intrigued by some information in the chapter titled: The Right Way to Have Family Dinner. Telling stories about your history and your family’s history is so very very important in raising our children and grandchildren. Children need to know they are part of a bigger picture, part of a larger family.
It’s important for the children to know where you grew up, how you met your spouse, some of the joys and trials and more. Having a strong intergenerational self is important for the children to be able to grow up, be resilient, and move forward.
Grandmas, it turns out, are central to the wellness of the child. When a problem comes up, tell a story about a relative who had a similar trial and how it worked out. When you are eating a meal and telling these stories, it’s win win. Eating together is nurturing. Eating with family, hearing these stories, is nourishing. Being able to hear the stories and then putting yourself into the family history is so key. Let the children know that they are part of a bigger picture.