10 Things Fathers Should Tell Their Children About Their Past
Children are always excited to hear stories about their father's life. Here are some interesting things you can share with them and have fun
By Amrita Gracias
Fathers share a natural, but unique, attachment to their children. One of the best ways for fathers to nurture this special bond is to spend quality time with them. And, although there are several activities – both indoor and outdoor – that fathers can do with their children, there is nothing like a meaningful conversation to connect with each other. Children make sense of experiences of strength, vulnerability, and heroism when we talk to them about our own. Moreover, a little nostalgia while talking about your carefree childhood, playful growing up years and memorable college life, will strengthen this connection. Remember, stories of your life are always encouraging and have the tremendous capacity to guide and influence your children.
Here are some interesting things that fathers can talk about to their children:
1. Where you were born/grew up: Your childhood was certainly very different from what your child is experiencing now. So, introduce your little one to your growing up years. Show her the hospital where you were born and the place you grew up. Describe how your house and neighbourhood used to be -- you could even show her photographs if you have any, of those long ago days. Tell her what fun it used to be, to play outside on the streets and climb trees, before technology, traffic and pollution took over.
2. Which school/college you studied in: Details about your school and college always make for interesting conversations. Your experiences as a student are sure to inspire your child. Talk about the institutions that you studied in, the campuses, the teachers, your extra-curricular activities and your favourite memories of student life.
3. Who was your best friend in school/college: The bonds of friendship are always special. Tell your child about your best friends from school and college and the connections you shared with them, before the invasion of social media and the Internet. Describe how you managed to stay in touch and communicate without mobile phones, Facebook or WhatsApp!
4. Where you spent your summer vacations: Summer holidays, these days, are carefully planned and entail travel to various destinations. A generation ago, summer vacations meant visiting grandparents and other family members at ancestral homes. It also meant spending endless hours exploring the outdoors and being spoilt with various delicacies from your grandmother’s kitchen! Give your child a little history of your native place, so he gets to know about his heritage.
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5. What were your ambitions when you were a child: You must have had dreams and aspirations of what you wanted to be when you grew up. Maybe you managed to pursue them or maybe you didn’t. No matter, you could use your experiences as a great opportunity to give your child life lessons on success and failure.
6. A teacher/mentor who inspired you: We all have that one special person, perhaps a teacher or a mentor, who took us under their wing and offered us that extra support, shaping our lives for the better. Talk to your child about how that special person inspired you. This will create opportunities for valuable lessons on inspiration and respect.
7. Awards that you won: Tell your children about your accomplishments and the accolades you won, growing up. What better way to be a great influence and role model to them. If you have medals and certificates, show them. Even if it is a small achievement, your children will be proud of you.
8. Your first crush: Your child may distance himself from you in his teens. Strengthen the bond by talking to him about your teenage years. He could be overwhelmed with the physical and emotional changes he is going through, and talking about things like your first crush can, in fact, help him understand that these are common feelings everyone experiences.
9. How you met their mother: All children are interested to know how you met your spouse. They are keen to know about your world before they existed. After all, meeting your spouse made their existence possible. So, go ahead and describe this significant moment!
10. Your misadventures and mistakes: Talk about the times when you stumbled and fell, when things didn’t go your way. These are as important as the achievements and successes. Telling your child about your mistakes will convey that it’s okay to falter; what is important is to keep going.
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