Connect To The Youth In Your Family By Connecting Them To Their Family History

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Great Ideas from RootsTech Attendees

So I had such a wonderful time last weekend at the RootsTech conference talking with people about getting the next generation of their family involved with their family history.  We were crazy busy at the Family ChartMasters booth.  I don't think I sat down the whole three days.  It was so exciting to see so many people resonating with the ideas in the books.  It was really invigorating to talk to people about their ideas and their needs in their family. 

The ideas in the book really jelled in my head even more from talking about them with everyone.  They are really about creating a culture of family history in your family--just breathing family history into your lives so that the children in your family just naturally grow up learning about who they are.  That's what my Mom did.  And that's what I'm trying to do with my children, especially now that they are in the "oh mom" teenager stage.  That's what these books can teach families to do and helps strengthen their relationships along the way.  As I said over and over last weekend, Family History is something that only you share.  It is a "team building exercise" that strengthens your family bonds and nurtures your youth as they become strong capable adults. 

So in my "The Cool Parts of Genealogy: engaging my teenagers case study" class I was able to talk to the audience a little about what ideas they have used in their families.  At the booth there were lots of people with great ideas too.  Here is some of what they said:

  • Take all the interview/story prompt questions you can find and print them on bright colored paper and cut them up and put them in a jar.  Then at family dinners or family gatherings, have everyone pull one out.  
  • One family makes family sweatshirts every year with a theme.
  • Kim Cotton suggested that her teenage nieces and nephews always are interested when she talks about the scoundrels in her family.  Nice people--not so much :)
  • One lady talked about having an "Ancestor" for dinner and sampling the cuisine and music and stories of that ancestor.  We actually talk about this one on page 141 of Zap The Grandma Gap
  • One man created a huge model submarine of the ship his father worked on in World War II.  What kid wouldn't be interested in that?
  • One man found his kids' interest was piqued when he took them with them to teach someone else about how to find their family history. I do that alot too.  
If you have other ideas, we'd love to hear them.  Together we can figure out how to create a stronger culture of family history in each of our families.  What works in your family might work in mine.  So let me know how it goes. 

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