It is never easy discussing difficult topics with kids, especially when they are on the younger side. However, you cannot shield them from these topics forever, and there will be one day where you need to sit down with them and answer any questions they have. One topic that is certain to crop up is death, and they might want to know more about their grandparents or other relatives they did not meet or cannot remember. They want to learn about them and feel closer to them, and these ideas can help you and them celebrate loved ones’ lives.
Show Them Pictures and Videos
The simplest way for you to share memories with your kids is to show them pictures and videos. There was a time where photo albums were not restricted to online spaces, so drag out the perhaps dusty box and show your child grainy photos of times long past (even when you had hair!). You could also transfer VHS tapes to digital copies to show home movies, while pictures for headstones and grave stones are becoming increasingly popular and can give your child insight into lost loved ones when you visit the burial site.
Give Them Hand-Me-Down Toys
Every family has a raggedy old teddy bear or doll that means something to someone. It has been in the family for generations, and although it’s falling apart and it may have mismatched eyes or a lopsided haircut, it’s something that everyone who owns it has cherished. If you want to continue your family’s legacy, handing this toy down to your child when they are younger will immediately build a connection to the past and give them a great appreciation for their relatives.
Save Their Jewelry
Similarly, inherited jewelry is another popular way to remember loved ones. Whether it’s necklaces, rings, brooches, or cufflinks, this jewelry can serve as a reminder. Many people will use this jewelry on special occasions, such as 18th or 21st birthdays, or perhaps take them as jewelry for their proposals or their wedding day. This can create a tradition where the jewelry is passed down through generations, so their kids or grandkids can use it, too.
Share Family Recipes
If you’re someone who loves cooking with your kids, family recipes are a fantastic way to teach them about their history and provide them with essential skills that will serve them well throughout their life. Getting into the kitchen and cooking up something that was designed by your grandmother’s grandmother will always be fun, and it is a tradition you can start as soon as they are old enough to hold a spoon. If you don’t trust them with cutting (which is a good idea) give them other jobs such as measuring out ingredients or collecting utensils from the drawer.
Even if your kids don’t have proper memories, you can still talk to them about your parents, grandparents, and other relatives to help them visualize and remember them their way. They might not have strong memories of birthday parties or other events, but through pictures, hand-me-downs, and other heirlooms, you can continue their legacy.