10    Sep 20124 comments

Family: 10 things never to tell your kids

In Denise Schipani's article, 10 things you should never say to your kids, she lists common phrases that parents may say to their children in the heat of the moment.

Although these comments might not sound bad, they can actually be harmful and upsetting.

The list:

  1. "I know you can try harder."
  2. "Are you sure you need that second cupcake?"
  3. "You always…" or "You never…"
  4. "Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?"
  5. "I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake!"
  6. "You’re the best at soccer!"
  7. "Don’t worry—the first day of school will be fine."
  8. "Because I said so!"
  9. "I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid."
  10. "That’s not how you do it! Here, let me."

What's interesting about the list is that no phrase is actually that bad, objectively. However, the sentiment could upset or potentially damage the child.

Parenting advice has changed over time. The old Victorian adage - "children should be seen and not heard" - is clearly no longer relevant. Our parents were brought up differently than their own parents. And the way they brought us up, and how we bring up our own children, is likely also different.

Continue reading "Family: 10 things never to tell your kids" »

25    Jul 20121 comment

Summertime Tips: Kids and family history

Looking for ways to entertain your children this summer?

The long school vacation provides perfect opportunities to encourage the younger generations to develop an interest in family history.

Here are our top seven tips for encouraging them:

  1. Visit close family. Encourage the kids to learn a bit more about their nearest and dearest.
  2. Take them to meet more distant family members, and explain how they are all related. Encourage them to ask questions about the family history.
  3. Take family trips to ancestral towns. Walk around the area. Show them where the relatives lived, went to school and more.
  4. Visit history museums. Explain why history is important and try to make a personal connection to specific periods, such as when your family immigrated to a new country and why.
  5. Look through the old family photos. Demonstrate the connections between the people and the places where the photos were made. Do they look like any of the relatives? Point that out to make a connection.
  6. Introduce the younger generations to online research. Set challenges to find relatives using available resources.
  7. Learn from and be inspired by others - here are posts about David Krueger and Jeff Zeitlin, teenage genealogists from different countries, who shared their family research and amazing discoveries with our readers.

Continue reading "Summertime Tips: Kids and family history" »

27    Apr 20122 comments

Family History: Involve your children!

Do you wish that your children or grandchildren were more interested in their family history?

Most children have little interest when they're young. While growing up, children are often surrounded by family and exposed to information about their relatives. As they get older, they begin to think  about those relationships. Over time, they begin to develop a natural curiosity as to who they are and where they come from.

But how can we speed up the process?

Children and Family History

Here are five creative tips on how to help the younger generations develop an interest in their family history: Continue reading "Family History: Involve your children!" »

24    Apr 20122 comments

Names: Choosing one for your child

Recently we posted about interesting birth stories. As a follow-up, we've been thinking about our children's names and how we choose them.

There are several reasons why parents select a particular name for a child. Some choose to name after a deceased relative, or to honor a living person. Some simply like a certain name or its meaning.

Other factors are important when selecting a name. What will the child's initials spell? Would a name result in an embarrassing nickname?

Some countries prohibit using certain names and won't allow the registration of such names. Parents may want to avoid names that might get them in trouble with the law!

Many families use recurring names in each generation, as they name children after those in the previous one. This is very helpful in tracing some families, as an unusual given name can provide clues if the surname is common. Of course, in some families, it can offer another challenge as some given names are used so commonly that researchers may have trouble separating each generation from another.

How did your parents select your first name? Who were you named after? Do you have a story about your name? Share your story in the comments below.

22    Mar 20125 comments

Family: The art of grandparenting

Two weeks ago we introduced Elisabeth, our French community manager. Here she shares a post about grandparents.

The earliest memories I have of my grandparents revolve around fun and candy! They picked me up from school, took me on long weekends and invited me to stay with them during the summer. My grandmother taught me to ride a bike and my grandfather told stories so that we’d fall asleep.

These unforgettable family moments are treasured our whole lives. What's better than being pampered by your grandmother, or taking a walk along the beach on Grandpa’s shoulders? Continue reading "Family: The art of grandparenting" »

19    Oct 20100 comments

4 Extraordinary Teenage Achievements

The teenage years are when our kids really start to garner some achievements. Exam results, sports trophies, musical performances: all of these and more give good reason to be proud of our youngsters.

For some teens, though, this just isn’t enough. They have to go and achieve that bit more than the rest. A lot more, in some cases.
Continue reading "4 Extraordinary Teenage Achievements" »

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