Resilience is a hot topic these days — everyone wants to know how to become more resilient, how to raise resilient kids and what it all means in the long term for our success and happiness. The ability to bounce back from hard times and keep a positive attitude can certainly be a help in life, but exactly how do people develop resilience? Is it just a matter of taking some hard knocks and learning to get back up to try again?
Learning to overcome challenges and get past failures is valuable, but there are other, more enjoyable ways to improve resilience in kids (and adults). One surprising way to build grit and flexibility can be practiced at the family dinner table: Sharing and teaching your family’s history.
Research shows that people who are more familiar with their family’s stories are more resilient than their peers, probably because of the sense of belonging that comes from knowing who they are and where they fit into a whole family unit. Resilient kids handle stress better, while adults who regularly share family stories and know their histories have better mental health than those who don’t.
So dust off the family photos and start sharing some memories! You’ll be glad you did.
Use family stories to help spark a conversation.
Team Member Bri DeRosa shares storytelling advice and questions to get the conversation flowing.
Family recipes have stories of their own to offer. Read about one family’s use of food as a way to share history with their kids, and try some of the discussion questions to jump-start your own food storytelling.