Each month nationally known storyteller Kim Weitkamp writes a column for Saving Memories Forever. In the blog post below she suggests a great way to connect families through storytelling.
The holidays are all about others. No matter what your religious beliefs are, the holiday season that just ended was all about love. As grownups, we understand this. At least I hope we do! We write cards to others, buy gifts for others, and we cook, prepare, decorate, shop, and wrap for others.
Children, on the other hand, sometimes miss this message. They focus on the gift opening extravaganza…and it is all about them. So this month, I offer this idea that helps children understand the larger message of love and family.
Start by sitting your children down and asking them to tell you the name of a relative who they visited with during the recent holidays. Then, using the the Saving Memories Forever app to record their responses, ask them why they love that relative. Ask them if they remember a funny thing that person did or a sweet thing that person did. Ask them how they know this person and how they are related to them (this can be very humorous). While doing this, use your imagination when crafting the questions and try to make them open ended questions.
After you’ve recorded their response, upload it. Then go to the Saving Memories Forever website where you’ll automatically be in the My Memories screen. Make sure you’re in the Manager Mode and then help your child share the stories. When prompted, put in that relative’s e-mail address, add a message and press “share”. All the relative has to do is click the link that’s in the email message and follow the instructions.
Yes, it’s that simple. (It’s also that repeatable just in case your children think of a other favorite relatives.)
Now look what you have! A great interview for your family history archives and a simple but incredibly sweet post-holiday gift for a loved one. Plus you’ve got a child focused on the goodness and love of others. I cannot think of a better way to start out the new year.
Have a peaceful and productive 2014!
Kim Weitkamp has been featured on NPR (National Public radio), SiriusXM, and other radio stations throughout the states. Kim is passionate about the power of story and story coupled with genealogy/family history. She regularly keynotes on those topics and can be reached through her website, www.kimweitkamp.com.