The power of sharing your story

Since the beginning of time stories have been used as a way to share knowledge, wisdom and experience.  Handed down from generation to generation stories are a way of documenting history and preserving the lessons learnt by previous generations.

By sharing your own story with your children you too can support their growth and development and assist them in learning from one of their greatest teachers…you.

When you tell your children about the events in your life that have helped shaped you as a person, whether they be good experiences or the challenges you have faced, they learn not only how you dealt with them but also gain an understanding that we all face hardships throughout our lives.

Witnessing this process helps normalise their experience and make them feel less alone in whatever it is they maybe facing at the time. By role modelling open and honest communication you are also leading by example of how you would like your children to communicate with you. This has the potential to bring you closer together as a family, providing you the opportunity to learn more about one another and find out things that you previously didn't know. 

Witnessing vulnerability and authenticity have the powerful effect of making us feel safe and secure enough to share our thoughts and feelings.  When we share authentically about experiences that we are not proud of or that perhaps hurt us we enable others to see that we are all the same despite outward appearances.

Some of my greatest memories are hearing stories from when my parents or even my grandparents were young and the things they got up to.  Not just the fun things they did but also the problems they faced and the challenges they experienced.  It made me feel closer to them and I pierced the veneer that often exist between child and adult, allowing me to see them as real people with short comings, and not holding all the answers.

So consider how you can make sharing your stories with your family a part of your life.  Here are some possible activities you may be able to incorporate telling stories:

  • Driving in the car – particularly road trips
  • Eating meals
  • Walking the dog
  • Playing games
  • Camping – Around the camp fire is always a great time
  • When putting your kids to bed

Our story is part of our identity, it is how we see ourselves, gain greater understanding of the events that have shaped us and develop empathy for others. 

Learn more from The Rites of Passage Institute:


Chanelle Shibata