Summer is a perfect opportunity to dig out your stash of old family photos and get children interested in their own family history.
A fun activity to help fill time during the school break, learning about family heritage is an excellent way to bond and do something meaningful with the younger generation.
As part of our “Treasure Family Photos” initiative, here are some fun ways to get creative with those old family photos to make beautiful additions to your home that showcase your family legacy.
Photo Time Capsule
A photo in a jar creates a time capsule. In a jar, get the kids to add some of their small personal items that remind them of family fun times such as movie stubs, notes and souvenirs from family vacations.
Once all the "memories" are added to the jar, put in a recent family photo and close the jar. Choose to display it on a shelf or bury it in the yard with instructions to not open it for at least 10 years and look forward to the memories you’ll look back to!
Most families tend to have "a wise one," the person to whom the family goes for help and who dishes out good advice. That person is also often charged with reprimanding - or rebuking - family members when necessary.
It's common for that person to be an older family member. However, in the following adorable video, we see from 4-year-old Delilah O'Donoghue's ''heart-to-heart'' with Gabriel, 2, that this role fits her perfectly.
Delilah dishes out some ''tough love'' to her younger brother who apparently did something not so nice in the playground. She wants him to learn a lesson, and here's how she does it:
Who's the ''wise one'' in your family? Whom do you go to for advice?
Share with us in the comments below.
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.
- "I know you can try harder."
- "Are you sure you need that second cupcake?"
- "You always…" or "You never…"
- "Why can’t you be more like your sister/brother?"
- "I told you waiting until the last minute was a mistake!"
- "You’re the best at soccer!"
- "Don’t worry—the first day of school will be fine."
- "Because I said so!"
- "I wish you didn’t hang out with Jack; I don’t like that kid."
- "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.
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:
- Visit close family. Encourage the kids to learn a bit more about their nearest and dearest.
- Take them to meet more distant family members, and explain how they are all related. Encourage them to ask questions about the family history.
- Take family trips to ancestral towns. Walk around the area. Show them where the relatives lived, went to school and more.
- 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.
- 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.
- Introduce the younger generations to online research. Set challenges to find relatives using available resources.
- 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.
We often hear people say that kids "get" technology easier than adults.
I remember the old computers we had at home, the tapes we used to load programs, the floppy disks that were really floppy. I'm sure my grandparents were probably amazed at the speed with which I could load and play Frogger.
Kids today are described as super-advanced when it comes to understanding new gadgets, so it's interesting to see how they relate to the gadgets that were around before they were born.
In this video, young people were challenged to see if they could figure out how to use some classic gadgets from the 80s.
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?
Ask any genealogist about the demographics of the pursuit and they'll tell you one thing: there aren't enough young people getting involved.
The answer to this is to instil the "genealogy bug" at a very young age. It needn't be anything extravagant- just something to make your children think past the two immediate generations of your family.
Today's video is an example of how you can encourage interest in genealogy by building a visual family tree. It's great for Kinesthetic learners, which should apply to the majority of children below five.
We’ve recently had a few MyHeritage community members ask us for advice on how to introduce kids to genealogy.
First of all let’s start by saying it’s understandable that most kids have limited interest in the subject.
As kids grow up they are exposed to more information about their families and start to think more intellectually about society and culture. With that comes a natural curiosity about who they are and where they came from.
But how do you kickstart that process earlier?
Below are 5 successful tips that we’ve collected over the years. Let us know what you think: