Now that my daughter is getting older and she now really enjoys reading and stories, I’ve been trying to think about a neat way to tell her about her ancestry. The things I may find interesting about my ancestry, besides the stories, like dates and history, are usually pretty boring for kids. I don’t want to bore her right off the bat and start off with an uphill battle.
I’ve been thinking about ways to take the stories, and even the dates and history, and turn them into simple, short, interesting stories that my daughter can easily enjoy.
A soul is made of stories, not atoms. Everything that ever happened to us, people we love, people we lost, people we found again, against all the odds.
- The Doctor (Doctor Who)
I wouldn’t use full name information, probably just a first name, like Frank. In terms of Frank Zalewski, maybe I’d talk about how Frank and his family had trouble where they lived, so they decided one day to go on an adventure (probably not what they thought at the time) and travel to a new land to try to start a new life. Once she hears the story a few times, I’d tell her that the story is actually about her ancestors, her great-great-great grandfather.
There are also already some pre-made stories on her maternal side since she is (according to current research) descended from both Royal blood and William Bradford of Mayflower fame. Those she may be more excited about once she learns about them in school. I know I would’ve paid more attention in history class if I knew I had some sort of connection to it.
Have you introduced young children to their ancestry? Do you know of any useful resources?