Family Relationships

The stories were remembered for a reason. Family stories, they were told and retold because they contained essential truths. Life and ourselves were in these stories, whether they were flattering or not, straightforward or opaque, legend or history. They showed us, in one way or another, how to live.
Elizabeth Ehrlich, from Miriam’s Kitchen

Our families create our first stories and are our first teachers. Writing about families is an important tool to help us understand our own life stories. Below are prompts to generate writing about you and your family.

1)  What are your favorite family stories? Take a few minutes to jot them down. These
are the stories you grew-up with, stories you heard around the kitchen table, stories
you heard from your parents.

2)  Choose one or two of the stories listed and write about them. Write about who told
the story, how the story happened, and when it happened?

3)  What is your favorite family story and why? Where do you fit into this story, or how
did this story shape you or your understanding of your family?

4)  What stories have you passed onto your children or other family members?

5)  As you think about these family stories is there one relative you would like to spend
a day with? Write a story of how you would spend a day with that person.

These prompts were adapted from Your Life, Your Story by Pat Flathouse, With Catherine Cogburn and Susan Wittig Albert.

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