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by Jean Warren

There are hundreds of things we can give our children, but one of the most important things we can give them is a sense of their past.  When we know where we came from, we can begin to understand who we are.  When we tell children about their past, we give them a sense of permanence and stability.  Our sense of self and purpose are enhanced when we know who our ancestors were and how they contributed to our lives.
All children need to feel good about where they come from.  Learning about our past helps us feel connected and better able to deal with the present.  A child’s sense of self comes from his roots.  Help your children grow strong roots so they can develop strong foundations upon which to grow.
Below are a few ways parents and teachers can help young children build solid foundation of self-worth.


  • Show your child on a map where their grandparents and great grandparents were from.
  • Share family albums with your child.
  • Discuss names and occupations of past relatives.
  • Point out positive traits these people displayed.
  • Share mementos of these relatives if you have some.
  • Tell stories of hardships these relatives overcame.
  • Tell stories of love, commitment and family.
  • Tell stories of bravery and ingenuity.


  • Recall current past times.  Do a class diary of daily events to remember them by.
  • Have children recall what they did on their last birthday.
  • Have your children bring in some of their old baby clothes.  Discuss how they have changed.
  • Bring in a display of historically old toys for your children to inspect and discuss.  How they are like and how they are different from toys today.
  • Plan a short trip to a regular museum or a Children’s Museum.
  • Teach your children some old songs, such as, “ Old Suzanna”, “Here We Go ‘Round The Mulberry Bush”, etc.
  • Teach your children old Nursery Rhymes.
  • Teach your children the following rhyme.  Discuss how times change for everyone.

    We used to crawl but now we can walk.
    We used to cry but now we can talk.