10 Questions to Inspire Family Storytelling This Thanksgiving

10 Questions to Inspire Family Storytelling This Thanksgiving

At Highland, we help our clients to understand what Living Fully means for them and steward their financial resources to accomplish that life.

While Living Fully is unique to everyone, some common aspects are relationships, community, and traditions. As we gather around the Thanksgiving table this week, it presents a unique opportunity to dive deeper into those aspects and engage in a bit of a lost art in our culture…family storytelling.

Dr. Marshall Duke, professor of psychology at Emory University, has developed some fascinating research about how family storytelling builds resilience in children and strengthens family bonds.

His research shows that the more kids know about their family history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem, and the better they tend to do when facing challenges.

The answers have to do with a child’s sense of being part of a larger family narrative. They learn that they belong to something bigger than themselves. And, interestingly, the most healthful and impactful narratives are ones with both successes and setbacks.

We have curated several pages of questions that can prompt stories from friends and family members, no matter which generation you fall in. Here is a sample of ten questions to get you started:

  1. What big world events do you remember from the time you were growing up?
  2. When you were a teenager, what did you do for fun? Did you have a favorite spot to “hang out”? What time did you have to be home at night? Did you ever get into any trouble?
  3. What was your first job? What did you like or not like about it?
  4. What’s the most memorable family vacation you took?
  5. What is your most embarrassing story?
  6. How did you meet your spouse? How and when did you get engaged?
  7. What was the first big purchase you made?
  8. What’s the most difficult thing that ever happened to you? How did you deal with it?
  9. Describe a person or situation from your childhood that had a profound effect on the way you look at life.
  10. What would you like your children and grandchildren to remember about you?

As you listen to the stories that come from these questions, you just may learn something new about the larger story you are a part of and create a stronger family in the process.

If you would like a copy of the entire list of questions, email me at benw@highlandprivate.com.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ben Wicks
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