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Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Guest Post - Keeping the Family Connection Alive

Today I'm lucky enough to have a guest post from Athena on how to keep the family connection alive.


It seems at times in our hectic lives it is often easy to dismiss the bigger picture. We get so caught up in all the little extra distractions that sometimes we can forget the most important one of all; family. Family transcends and merges, it grows and embraces and connect us to our most basic of needs. And with so many families these days facing transfers across the country to pursue careers and other experiences, we’ve lost a lot of family history along the way.

If this sounds at all like what you’ve experienced with your own family, then here are a few tips to help
reconnect and regain some footing in your family tree.

Where to start? Let’s take a look at a few tips below:

- Familiarize your children:

Pull out that old scrapbook and photo album. If you’ve got kids then you know how important that connection is between yourself and your children. Start pulling out those old slides and family photos even when the children are still in diapers. Explain to them how they are related and any funny or interesting stories about them. Say your great uncle loved to fish, there’s even a picture of him with a trophy steelhead, but let’s say he also had to fight off a grizzly bear on one of his fishing trips, chances are your kids will never forget who he is. There is nothing more heartwarming to see your child point to a picture of your grandmother and say their name out loud. Children love to know who they came from and how that connection relates to them.

- Take a trip to library:

Let’s face it, we all love to see our name in print and of course, children are no exception. By accessing archived newspapers you can look up your relative’s birth announcements as well as finding other interesting stories (maybe some you didn’t know existed). Better yet? Look up your children’s birth announcement. You can show them and then tell them all about that very special day when they came into your life.

- Research online:

With little ones in tow, it can sometimes be hard to spend quality time researching your family tree, however, with the help of the internet you can soon be up and reading all about your family’s history, all in the comfort and convenience of your own home. There are some sites to get you started is one to start plugging your name and relatives into. But let’s say you’ve been so inspired by family research that you’ve decided that you are going to start the first annual family reunion this summer. It’s a lot of work, but the thought of seeing your great Aunt (and your daughter’s namesake) finally meeting, well, it will all be worth it. A site like can help begin the search and get the ball rolling to reach out to those who have been missing for years.

At the end of the day, family is what matters. Imagine the faces of those relatives who have been absent for so many years and the new memories that you can begin to make today. Just think, someday your own children will be sitting down with their children, reviewing the photo album of the family reunion that you were inspired to put together. Get started now, what are you waiting for? Your children’s children will thank you.


Athena Bingham is a paralegal who enjoys freelance writing. She contributes regularly to sites like People Smart. When she isn't writing, Athena enjoys spending time reading to her children and playing the piano for several local jazz groups.


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