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.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- McAdams, D. P. (2001). The psychology of life stories. Review of General Psychology, 5(2), 100-122.