It seems Write My Memoirs is not the only one blogging about the link between children’s resilience and knowing their family history (see last week’s blog post). On its “Learning Network” blog, The New York Times cites the same researcher that we did—Bruce Feiler, who has studied the factors that go into making a family effective and the children well-adjusted.
The blog says that after reviewing a study by Dr. Marshall Duke, who developed a “Do You Know” scale asking children questions about their family history, Feiler concluded, “The single most important thing you can do for your family may be the simplest of all: develop a strong family narrative….The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned.”
The questions the blog lists as examples from the “Do You Know” scale could serve as a guide for content for your memoir: “Do you know where your grandparents grew up? Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school? Do you know where your parents met? Do you know of an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family? Do you know the story of your birth?” In your memoir, make sure you provide the next generation with details about the family that give them a real sense of where they come from.