Why Share Family History with the Kids? By Jana Greenhalgh, The Genealogy Kids

When you discover something amazing, don’t you want to share it with the world, and especially with the people you love? Isn’t it the first thing on your mind and you want to bring it up in every conversation, convince others to discover it, too?

For me, that’s genealogy.

I discovered it as a teenager, and it changed my life. I shared the story of my influential grandfather and my own personal discovery with FamilySearch in this blog interview.

Why do I want my kids to become family historians? The answer is simple: because I know how important family history has been for me, and because I LOVE it so much!

And that’s not all. The research proves it … family history is good for kids. It’s good for them like eating vegetables is good for them, like exercise and activity are good for them. As reported by Bruce Feiler in his New York Times article “The Stories that Bind Us,” the following are benefits of family history to children:

  • high self-esteem
  • control of their lives
  • emotional health
  • happiness
  • resiliency (ability to handle stress)

From my own personal experiences as a young family historian and a mother of six young, budding family historians, I can add these additional benefits to the list:

  • perspective
  • knowledge
  • patience
  • diligence
  • curiosity
  • work ethic
  • study skills
  • computer skills
  • communication skills
  • leadership

That’s a long enough list for me (although I’m sure we could keep adding benefits)! No keeping my hobby to myself … my kids are exposed to their family history. And I think they’re starting to see how important and amazing it is. Perhaps they’ll even be inspired enough to share it with their own children.