Advertisement

The Tales That Bind Us: Family Stories in Young Children’s Development

  • Kelli Jo Kerry-MoranEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Educating the Young Child book series (EDYC, volume 16)

Abstract

Family stories are the tales family members tell about themselves within their family unit. These narratives may be about deceased ancestors as well as living family members of all ages and describe both the ordinary and extraordinary events of their lives. Sharing family stories helps infants and young children develop language. Young children are aided in their social, emotional, and cognitive development as they build family bonds and healthy self-concepts. Through these stories many young children learn about living relatives as well as their deceased ancestors. They strengthen their connections to family members and build a strong sense of self while establishing their place within the family unit. This chapter focuses on the role family stories play in encouraging healthy development in infants and young children and the ways families and teachers can support children in learning through family stories.

Keywords

Family stories Intergenerational stories Collaborative reminiscing Family history Personal narrative 

References

  1. Baker, C. E. (2013). Fathers’ and mothers’ home literacy involvement and children’s cognitive and social emotional development: Implications for family literacy programs. Applied Developmental Science, 17(4), 184–197.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10888691.2013.836034.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Barnwell, A. (2015). Telling social stories: Family history in the library. The Australian Library Journal, 1–8.  https://doi.org/10.1080/00049670.2015.1011050.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Birch, D., & Hooper, K. (Eds.). (2016). The concise Oxford companion to English literature. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  https://doi.org/10.1093/acref/9780199608218.001.0001.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bohanek, J. G., Fivush, R., Zaman, W., Lopere, C. E., Merchant, S., & Duke, M. P. (2009). Narrative interaction in family dinnertime conversations. Merrill-Palmer Quarterly, 55(4), 488–515.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bronfenbrenner, U. (1996). The ecology of human development experiments by nature and design. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original work published 1979).Google Scholar
  6. Brown, M. W. (1942/2017). Runaway Bunny. New York: HarperCollins.Google Scholar
  7. Brown, J. A., Garzarek, J. E., & Donegan, K. L. (2014a). Effects of a narrative intervention on story retelling in at-risk young children. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 34(3), 154–164.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0271121414536447.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown, P. C., Roediger, H. L., & McDaniel, M. A. (2014b). Make it stick. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bruner, J. (1990). Acts of meaning. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University.Google Scholar
  10. Buchoff, R. (1995). Family stories. The Reading Teacher, 49(3), 230–233.Google Scholar
  11. Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. (n.d.). Teacher helps page for SPARK. Retrieved from http://www.cbf.net/resources/missions-education/teacher-helps/spark-2011-12/
  12. Davies, L. (2013, November). How big crow became Echo Hawk. Friend, 14–15.Google Scholar
  13. Driessnack, M. (2017). “Who are you from?”: The importance of family stories. Journal of Family Nursing, 23(4), 434–449.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Engel, S. (1995). The stories children tell: Making sense of the narratives of childhood. New York: W. H. Freeman and Company.Google Scholar
  15. Fairbanks, M. (1991, April) Heritage home evenings, Ensign, 21(4). Retrieved from https://www.lds.org/ensign/1991/04?lang=eng
  16. Family History Guide. (n.d.). Children activities. Retrieved from https://thefhguide.com/act-children.html
  17. Family Tree (n.d.). Family tree kids. Retrieved from https://www.familytreemagazine.com/kids/familytreekids/
  18. FamilySearch. (n.d.-a). About FamilySearch. Retrieved from https://www.familysearch.org/home/about
  19. FamilySearch. (n.d.-b). Family history activities for children: 3–11 [wiki]. Retrieved from https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/Family_History_Activities_for_Children:_3-11
  20. Fiese, B. H., & Bickham, N. (2004). Pin-curling grandpa’s hair in the comfy chair: Parents’ stories of growing up and potential links to socialization in the preschool years. In M. W. Pratt & B. H. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the life course: Across time and generations (pp. 259–277). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  21. Fiese, B. H., & Spagnola, M. (2005). Narratives in and about families: An examination of coding scheme and a guide for family researchers. Journal of Family Psychology, 19(1), 51–61.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0893-3200.19.1.51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Fiese, B., Sameroff, A., Grotevant, H., Wamboldt, F., Dickstein, S., & Fravel, D. (1999). The stories that families tell: Narrative coherence, narrative interaction, and relationship beliefs. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 64(2), 1–36.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Fivush, R. (1998). The stories we tell: How language shapes autobiography. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 12(5), 483–487.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Fivush, R., Bohanek, J., Robertson, R., & Duke, M. (2004). Family narratives and the development of children’s emotional well-being. In M. W. Pratt & B. H. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the live course: Across time and generations (pp. 55–76). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  25. Fivush, R., Haden, C., & Reese, E. (2006). Elaborating on elaborations: Role of maternal reminiscing style in cognitive and socioemotional development. Child Development, 77(6), 1568–1588.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Friedman, W., Reese, E., & Dai, X. (2011). Children’s memory for the times of events from the past years. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 25(1), 156–165.  https://doi.org/10.1002/acp.1656.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Fung, H., Miller, P. J., & Lin, L. (2004). Listening is active: Lessons from the narrative practices of Taiwanese families. In M. W. Pratt & B. H. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the life course: Across time and generations (pp. 303–323). Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  28. Gadzikowski, A. (2007). Story dictation: A guide for early childhood professionals. St. Paul: Readleaf Press.Google Scholar
  29. Glasser, W. (2010). A new psychology of personal freedom. New York: Harper Collins.Google Scholar
  30. Harrigan, M. M. (2010). Exploring the narrative process: An analysis of the adoption stories mothers tell their internationally adopted children. Journal of Family Communication, 10(1), 24–39.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15267430903385875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Hendrickson, N. (2018, February 26). 10 top tech tolls for sharing family history. Family Tree Magazine. Retrieved from https://www.familytreemagazine.com/premium/top-tech-tools-sharing-family-history/
  32. Hooley, K., Stokes, L., & Combes, H. (2016). Life story work with looked after and adopted children: How professional training and experience determine perceptions of its value. Adoption & Fostering, 40(3), 219–233.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Jack, F., MacDonald, S., Reese, E., & Hayne, H. (2009). Maternal reminiscing style during early childhood predicts the age of Adolescents’ earliest memories. Child Development, 80(2), 496–505.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8624.2009.01274.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kiser, L. J., Baumgardner, B., & Dorado, J. (2010). Who are we, but for the stories we tell: Family stories and healing. Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Practice, And Policy, 2(3), 243–249.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0019893.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Koenig Kellas, J., Baxter, L., LeClair-Underberg, C., Thatcher, M., Routsong, T., Normand, E. L., & Braithwaite, D. O. (2014). Telling the story of stepfamily beginnings: The relationship between young-adult Stepchildren’s stepfamily origin stories and their satisfaction with the stepfamily. Journal of Family Communication, 14(2), 149–166.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2013.864294.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Marin, K. A., Bohanek, J. G., & Fivush, R. (2008). Positive effects of talking about the negative: Family narratives of negative experiences and Preadolescents’ perceived competence. Journal of Research On Adolescence (Wiley-Blackwell), 18(3), 573–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Maslow, A. H. (1954). Motivation and personality. London: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  38. McBratney, S. (1995/2008). Guess how much I love you. London: Walker Books.Google Scholar
  39. Merrill, N., & Fivush, R. (2016). Intergenerational narratives and identity across development. Developmental Review, 40(C), 72–92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Piaget, J. (1999). Play, dreams and imitation in childhood. (C. Gattegno & F. M. Hodgson, Trans.) (Developmental psychology; 25). London: Routledge.Google Scholar
  41. Pratt, M. W., & Fiese, B. H. (2004). Families, stories, and the life course: An ecological context, 1–24. In M. W. Pratt & B. H. Fiese (Eds.), Family stories and the life course: Across time and generations. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Reese, E. (2013). Tell me a story: Sharing stories to enrich your child’s world. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Reese, E., & Newcombe, R. (2007). Training mothers in elaborative reminiscing enhances Children’s autobiographical memory and narrative. Child Development, 78(4), 1153–1170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Reese, E., Hayne, H., & MacDonald, S. (2008). Looking back to the future: Maori and Pakeha mother-child birth stories. Child Development, 79(1), 114–125.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Reese, E., Fivush, R., Merrill, N., Wang, Q., & McAnally, H. (2017a). Adolescents’ intergenerational narratives across cultures. Developmental Psychology, 53(6), 1142–1153.  https://doi.org/10.1037/dev0000309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Reese, E., Myftari, E., McAnally, H., Chen, Y., Neha, T., Wang, Q., Jack, R., & Robertson, S. (2017b). Telling the tale and living well: Adolescent narrative identity, personality traits, and Well-being across cultures. Child Development, 88(2), 612–628.  https://doi.org/10.1111/cdev.12618.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Salmon, K., & Reese, E. (2015). Talking (or not talking) about the past: The influence of parent-child conversation about negative experiences on Children’s memories. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 29(6), 791–801.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Salmon, K., & Reese, E. (2016). The benefits of reminiscing with young children. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25(4), 233–238.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0963721416655100.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Shotton, G. (2013). ‘Remember when…’:Exploring the experiences of looked after children and their carers in engaging in collaborative reminiscence. Adoption & Fostering, 37(4), 352–367.  https://doi.org/10.1177/0308575913508721.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Song, Q., & Wang, Q. (2013). Mother-child reminiscing about peer experiences and Children’s peer-related self-views and social competence. Social Development, 22(2), 280–299.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Starkweather, S. (2012). Telling family stories: Collaborative storytelling, taking precedence and giving precedence in family group interviews with Americans in Singapore. Area, 44(3), 289–295.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1475-4762.2011.010172.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Stone, E. (1988/2008). Black sheep and kissing cousins: How our family stories shape us. New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  53. Suter, E. A., Kellas, J. K., Webb, S. K., & Allen, J. A. (2016). A tale of two mommies: (re)storying family of origin narratives. Journal of Family Communication, 16(4), 303–317.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15267431.2016.1184150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Tillman, N. (2010). On the night you were born. New York: Feiwel and Friends.Google Scholar
  55. Tõugu, P., Tulviste, T., Schroder, L., Keller, H., & De Geer, B. (2011). Socialization of past event talk: Cultural differences in maternal elaborative reminiscing. Cognitive Development, 26(2), 142–154.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cogdev.2010.12.004.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Vygotsky, L.S. (1978). Mind in society: The development of higher psychological processes. (M. Cole, V. John-Steiner, S. Scribner & E. Souberman, Eds.) (trans: Luria, A. R., Lopez-Morillas, M. & Cole M.[with J. V. Wertsch]) Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. (Original manuscripts [ca. 1930–1934/1978).Google Scholar
  57. Wang, Q. (2007). Remember when you got the big, big bulldozer? Mother-child reminiscing over time and across cultures. Social Cognition, 25(4), 455–471.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Westby, C., & Culatta, B. (2016). Telling tales: Personal event narratives and life stories. Language, Speech, & Hearing Services in Schools, 47(4), 260.  https://doi.org/10.1044/2016_LSHSS-15-0073.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Wiseman, H., Metzl, E., & Barber, J. P. (2006). Anger, guilt, and intergenerational communication of trauma in the interpersonal narratives of second generation Holocaust survivors. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 76(2), 176–184.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0002-9432.76.2.176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Indiana University of PennsylvaniaIndianaUSA

Personalised recommendations