Family Storytelling: An Untapped Parenting Superpower!

On average, a narrative emerges every five minutes during family dinner conversation.³

Children initiate these narratives just as much as their parents do.³

Sharing these narratives is shown to decrease feelings of depression and anxiety in children.³

Children who know more about the history of their family are more secure in their own identity, form stronger attachments in relationships, have higher self-esteem, and express more confidence in the bonds of their family.³

Wondering about this research we tout as proof that family storytelling has all kinds of amazing benefits² for kids? We get it – we couldn’t believe what we were reading at first, either. But it’s all there in black and white: something as simple as telling family stories around the dinner table³ has clear, tangible benefits for children.¹ And those benefits extend well into adolescence,⁴ inoculating kids from much of the anxiety, depression, and uncertainty that so many tweens and teens experience.

mother and daughter share dog story on tablet


  1. BOHANEK, J. G., MARIN, K. A., FIVUSH, R. and DUKE, M. P. (2006), Family Narrative Interaction and Children’s Sense of Self. Family Process, 45: 39-54. doi:10.1111/j.1545-5300.2006.00079.x
  2. Duke, M. P., Lazarus, A., & Fivush, R. (2008). Knowledge of family history as a clinically useful index of psychological well-being and prognosis: A brief report. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training, 45(2), 268-272.
  3. Fivush, R., Bohanek, J. G., & Zaman, W. (2010). Personal and intergenerational narratives in relation to adolescents’ well-being. In T. Habermas (Ed.), The development of autobiographical reasoning in adolescence and beyond. New Directions for Child and Adolescent Development, 131, 45–57.
  4. McAdams, D. P. (2001). The psychology of life stories. Review of General Psychology, 5(2), 100-122.
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