Modern life is busy, and sometimes it’s hard to find time to talk as a family. Sharing stories are a lovely way to bond as a family and get to know each other better. It’s fun to share experiences, and sometimes all you need is the right question to ask. By looking back through your life, you might even be able to share some of your hard-won wisdom.
The stories you share don't have to be action-packed or set in far off places - very few people have those kinds of stories! What makes a story interesting is how you felt about what happened - this gives your children a chance to get to know you. A story doesn’t need to be long - your children will probably ask questions that draw out lots of detail.
- Look through old photographs: this can help you remember experiences and details you might have forgotten.
- Try a warm up game: this helps get everyone relaxed and in the mood to share. Why not try this game, where everyone rolls a dice and asks a question based on the number they land on? You can download a dice roll app to your phone, or you can make one using paper or card if needed.
- Draw a map of somewhere important to you: Looking at a map of somewhere like your childhood street can help you remember things you might not have thought about for a long time. How do the memories that come back to you make you feel?
Telling your story
Most people feel a bit nervous about sharing stories. Try to remember this isn’t a performance - you’re just sharing experiences together. Here are a few tips to get you started:
- Set the scene: start your story by saying where and when it took place, who was there, and any background details. This helps the listener understand the rest of the story.
- Share your thoughts and feelings: how did you feel at the time, and how do you feel now as you’re sharing the experience?
- Explain what your story means to you: why is this an important memory for you? What makes it stick out in your mind?
- Share what you learned from your experience: not everything you share will be a learning experience, but if it taught you something, share that!
Remember, this doesn’t have to be a one-off, you could make it a regular event. Why not try having a family storytelling night every week?
You could also record your story to share with your community. You could record your story with a slideshow of photos. Below is a nice example.
Overcoming my Fears by Aimee Mason from Digital Stories from Scotland on Vimeo.