Recently I read an article on how children who know their family tree and the history and stories behind it, are more confident. Looking for some more information, I found this NY Times article and decided to conduct my own little experiment.
So, that night, I took aside the youngest and started the conversation by telling her about an important historical figure from each side of the family. One, from her dad’s side, had a part in helping George Washington in the Revolutionary War by sneaking gun powder in beer barrels past the enemy to the troops.
Another, from my side, was part of the first Thanksgiving on record. We talked about doing what was right even when it was hard amongst other things.
She smiled and ate it up, but didn’t have any follow up questions and didn’t bring it back up for a couple days.
Until . . . a friend came over. From the bottom of the stairs I could hear her talking to her friend. “I learned some really cool family history this weekend. A guy from my family won World War I because he knew that people would die without beer or guns.”
When I stopped laughing, I relayed the true story.
But I consider my experiment a success . . . except, maybe we should repeat it over, and over, and over again.