In school, story is a strong part of daily work. Students read stories. Teachers read stories. We teach students how to write stories. Students share stories from their home life with us. Stories fill our days.

I find even when we talk as adults with one another, we connect with our stories. As I sit with teachers, we talk about powerful moments in our teaching that taught us things. We also share funny stories that make us laugh. We share heartfelt stories that sometimes make us cry. We use stories to illustrate a point.

Have you noticed though how glued your child becomes when you share a story from your childhood? I read an article about legacies. It was a story of a man hearing the news of his father having a terminal illness. He realized the stories he wanted to hear from his father that he had never known. What was his dad’s life like before he was born? The father found healing and life in sharing his legacy with his son. His son felt even more connected with his father in the passing days.

I realize how powerful my stories from my childhood help my own children connect with me. As they grow, those stories help them to navigate life. They share their stories every day when they come home. But turning it around, having them listen is a lesson as well. My daughter listens in earnest about times when I handled tough friend moments or how I managed learning my division. She loves to know her mom made mistakes and got in trouble sometimes. And she sees her mom and her grandma through a different lens in our stories. We connect with each other in a new way.

I encourage parents to consider using story with their child. There is magic in sharing what you felt like to walk into school for the first time. To share how you handled that tough lesson. To share the funny moments that make you even more human.

Our children learn from us. And sharing story builds our relationships and brings us closer.