How to Inspire Children to Trace Their Family Ancestry

7:07 am Parenting

Our ancestors are so important. Do we do a good job of inspiring our children to want to learn more about them? Enjoy this guest article from Manny. Grandpa Richard.

Knowing one’s family history is so important because it connects you with the past and cultural aspects of your identity. However, children don’t always realize these benefits until it’s too late – maybe you’re gone, maybe the photos are lost in a move. How can you help them understand why it’s so important to appreciate your family’s ancestry right now? Read on to find out!

Tell Old Stories

You can engage your children by telling them stories from when you were young. You might also have some stories that were told to you by your own grandparents and great-grandparents, and you should certainly bring those up as well. Youngsters might have questions about family members who are no longer with us, and you can start to encourage them to trace their ancestry to find out the answers, rather than just giving it to them straight away.

Show Them How

Perhaps your children are already interested in their family history, but they don’t know how to search through ancestry records or even realize that’s an option. After all, doing so can be rather overwhelming and is a somewhat esoteric hobby. As the parent, showing them how to go through these types of records is part of your responsibility. Pick a day when they’re off from school, and the two of you can sit down together, so that you can delve into whatever fascinating tidbit of info comes up!


Children might want to see some other sort of end goal associated with their family-history endeavors. Therefore, it might be wise to ask them to put together some sort of presentation for the family. Youngsters might be happy to make a presentation for the immediate family. Now, let’s say that a holiday is coming up, and family members are going to be coming in from all around the country. You could ask your children to put the history together a special tribute or a present to older members of the family. Everyone is sure to enjoy this lovely surprise in the midst of all the celebration. Your little one might not be as into this idea as others, and that’s ok – you just need to incentivize it. Think of a great reward they can’t resist, so that everyone in in the family can learn something about your collective past.

Traditions, Traditions, Traditions

You might have children who really love traditions. Explain to them where the traditions in your family came from and who started these traditions. Even if you don’t know a lot about the person who started the big traditions in your family, you should still talk about them to your children. Once you’ve introduced the individual, your child can then begin to trace their history. Through discovery, both of you might learn a lot more about this ancestor than you ever knew in the past.

Manny Rodriguez writes about healthy and constructive children’s activities for parents and teachers. His recent work is about earning a social work degree online

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