The wealthiest families are those with stories that have been remembered, treasured, and incorporated into the family spirit.
Children love to hear bedtime stories, and grandparents make ideal storytellers. They have a rich history to pass down to their descendants, and children are enthralled by the vivid characters that come to life in these memorable stories. More than anyone else, Grandparents are the guardians of the family stories. They are a living link between the past and the future of a family. Their intimate connection with the two generations that preceded them and the two that follow gives them a view of the landscape of five generations and a piece of remarkable knowledge. This holds for Kishwar Mirza’s Illustration book entitled “Stories and Poems from a Grandmother’s Heart.” Her granddaughter has inspired her work.
When grandkids hear the family’s stories, they learn from where they came from and who they are. A study has shown that children who know something about their roots and family history have stronger self-esteem. Children are given a sense of belonging through family stories, and they develop family pride. Stories about the family ancestors tend to build confidence in kids and empower them.
And so, this article is a take on why grandparents can be such great sources of stories and creative inspiration.
Reason #1. They have a lifetime of experience to share. Experience is a vital ingredient to good storytelling. When writers have not been through certain situations firsthand, they research accounts from people who have. Fortunately, some of you are lucky enough to have excellent sources in your own families, and those are commonly the people who have been through the most in life. Grandparents have decades of experience to share, which adds a lifetime of exciting stories. If you have a goldmine of creative ideas among your relatives, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?
Reason #2. They are living witnesses to how quickly times change. “When I was your age” seems to be the favorite phrase of many elders, and while young people tend to take it for granted, it is one of those sentence starters that should not be ignored. History has never changed at such a rapid pace as it has in the last couple of centuries, to the point where there are instances that only people who grew up in a particular decade will understand. The longer someone has lived, the more they can attest to how fast times change. So stop and listen to what your grandparents have to say about how the world was when they were young. You are bound to learn about realities you never even imagined!
Reason #3. Their stories come with valuable advice. The amazing stories are those with lessons that can be applied to real life, and grandpas and grandmas are full of wisdom just waiting to be imparted. Even if they do not apply to your writing, you are still likely to find good values or two by which to live your life. Also, your grandparents can teach you how to make the most of your future!
Reason #4. They are comfortable with their audience. Isn’t it wonderful when a storyteller is within reach of their audience that there are no inhibitions when sharing a tale? This seems to happen most often among family members. Elders often seem eager to pass their knowledge and wisdom on to younger generations, and those patient enough to listen will likely find that this makes for some beautiful storytelling. Grandkids, remember: if nothing else, you can always appreciate the joy your grandparents feel when telling you their stories!
Reason #5. They tell their stories with love! If there is one thing grandparents have plenty to give, it is unconditional love! All the wisdom and stories they share with their grandkids are told with good intentions. They want their loved ones and family to learn about life and succeed in the world as much as possible. If they spend hours telling you stories and enjoy talking to you, that is because they love you dearly!
Are your grandpa and grandma still around? Do (or did) you enjoy listening to their amazing stories? What have you learned from them? Comment below!