The benefits of genealogy apply to all ages. Knowing your lineage and feeling connected to your family is always advantageous, but when you start learning as a kid the benefits seem to multiply. Family history is an important part of who we are. Teach genealogy and family history work to your children so that they can get a sense of who they are, where they come from, have the opportunity to connect with family, and to connect with you as you teach them about your shared history.
As your kids learn about their ancestry from other cultures, they will have the opportunity to learn about those cultures and their histories. Though history may not be your child’s favorite subject, when they have a personal connection to that history it will likely be more enjoyable for them to learn about. When they come to know their roots and their ancestors, they can put things in perspective and connect to history in a unique way. Learning stories about your own flesh and blood takes history to another level entirely.
Learning about their family tree and where they come from can help children to understand who they are. As they get to know individual family members in their history they will have a chance to connect with them. They can learn where their freckles come from or their love for sports. Sometimes connecting with your immediate family can be tough, but with genealogy, you can the chance to connect with thousands of others. There is a sense of stability and security that comes along with learning that you are part of something bigger—like a big chain that connects us all.
Speaking of connection—nothing can help you relate to family more than learning about them. Your child may know that they have a certain number of aunts and uncles or great aunts and great uncles but seeing how they fit into their family visually on a family tree will help them to understand how they relate. It becomes easier to remember and get to know family members as you understand your family tree. You don’t need to create anything too extravagant or go back thousands of years, but a simple diagram with basic information will help your child to make the necessary connections.
A study done at Emory University in 2010 concluded that children who knew about their family history had higher self-esteem and were better able to deal with stress. When children know their families, they are filled with a sense of fulfillment. Another study done at Emory University found that children who have a strong family narrative enjoy better emotional health. It’s hard to feel alone when you know that you are part of something bigger. When children know what challenges, their family have faced and overcome, they are more confident to face their own challenges. They are better adjusted and more resilient.
If you're interested in involving your kids in family history but aren't sure how, click here!