Back when - family stories

Dec 22, 2005

Seems the holiday season is a natural time for family storytelling, and I’ve seen a bunch of articles related to oral history, family traditions and the such.

In today’s Wall Street Journal, Sue Shellenbarger writes (not online) about new research into what children learn from family stories:

A growing number of researchers are putting family stories under the microscope, recording and dissecting the plots and adults’ storytelling techniques to uncover links to children’s development. What they’re finding is that a sense of family history is linked to self-esteem and resiliency in kids. And contrary to what adults may assume, happily-ever-after tales aren’t always best. Instead, stories of relatives grappling with sad or difficult events may give children the wisdom and perspective they need to thrive.

I’ve got my digital recorder with me (I’m in an undisclosed location), and will spend the next few days asking about some of the stories in my family. You should, too.

I’m pointing to blog posts about oral history and storytelling in anticipation of the NC Storyblogging project.

Anton Zuiker

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