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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How To Discuss Family Roots With Your Child

Your family roots are very important. We all have them. Many know quite a lot about their roots, while others know very little. Family is important. Family is the safe haven. It is never too late to start now discussing your family roots.

1. Talk.

Talk to your toddler about former relatives, brothers, sisters, grandparents, etc. Tell them of some of your childhood experiences. This gives them a glimpse into what your life was like. Share with your child what you wanted to be when you grew up. Several times that I attempted to share my children would say, “Mama’s talking about the olden days.” I would smile and think to myself, “Yes the olden days, the good days.” Encourage and tell your toddler when he grows up to do the same with his/her children. Instill in your child a sense of remembering where he/her came from. Regardless to how famous or how much money they might eventually make, they are never to forget where they started.

Mother talking to child

2. Pictures.

Pictures, videos, and family trees are essential. Show your child pictures of present and past family members. There may even be short stories behind some of the pictures.

Parent showing children family pictures

3. Traditions.

Talk about the traditional values of your family. Every family is different. Maybe it is a custom to have Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner over Aunt Mary’s house. Possibly it is custom to play games after the dinners or to just sit around and chat. Explain the importance of education and working. Explain that everyone may have different circumstances and might need welfare, but not to use welfare as a crutch. Encourage your child to earn a decent and honest living. I have watched my 3 and 4 year old toddlers playing. The one told me, “I am going to work now.” The other told me, “I am home from work and I brought you some money.” The other told me, “I am home from work and I brought you some gold.” I just smiled. It let me know they are thinking big at a very young age.

Christmas Dinner with family

4. Cycles.

Possibly there have been generational curses in the family such as abusive relationships or dysfunction in the family. Talk to your child about the past and present. Let them know that does not have to happen to them. Show them that you have broken the cycles and that they can continue to keep the cycle broken. Instill in your child that he/she can become whatever they want to become in life.

Captions: iStockphoto.com, Dreamstime.com, and Fotosearch.com

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