Telling tales

I read an article in the New York Times this week about how important it is to children to hear their family stories.

Psychological studies have shown that children are more confident if they know about their family’s background and have heard stories of hardship and success from their older relatives.

Once you start to learn about your family history, it can become very addictive. In fact, even if it’s not your own family, the stories of people of the past are a fascination to us all.

The article suggests that from a psychological point of view, the stories are an important element of feeling part of a community and allow the continutation of traditions. These allow us to feel secure in our current situation, whether that be a positive or negative state.

Certainly, if Who Do You Think You Are? is anything to go by, by learning about your own family story, you can improve your understanding of yourself. At the very least by knowing about your family’s past, you will understand certain behaviours or traditions that have been formed in your own family’s culture.

The stories that bind us was published by the New York Times on 15 March 2013.