Here are four categories of stories about yourself that are guaranteed to help your kids:
Success Stories — Your achievements from childhood, teenage years and adulthood.
Failure Stories — Things you tried, failed and learned from.
Unexpected Surprises — Unplanned things that shaped you. People. Events.
Unexpected Crises — Unfortunate events that shaped you. Accidents. Illness. Loss.
Along with these stories, make sure to include how that event shaped you for better or worse. Stories of both wins and losses are important. They show our kids that real people have real lives, just like them.
Next, expand the circle of influence to include your parents and siblings (your kid’s grandparents, aunts and uncles) and tell the same four kinds of stories from their lives. Better even, ask your extended family to tell the stories from their own perspective. You may want to prepare some key questions based on stories you know your parents and siblings are willing to tell. Prompt them for their stories with a few of your memories.
All the life-stories your children hear flow into their story-well and fill their resilience reservoir. Emotional strength comes from these stories being available when we need them.
Ask your kids to tell their stories, too. Help them to develop positive lessons from the many stories in their lives.
A deep story-well leads to a life of strength, love and joy.