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Susan Violante

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Member Since: Sep, 2009

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Tips on How to Connect the Generations within Your Family
by Susan Violante   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, September 12, 2010
Posted: Sunday, September 12, 2010

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Many of us complain about not being able to connect with our parents when we were growing up, but it is never too late to connect with the different generations in your life. All it takes is the desire to do so and a little creativity!

I wrote a book to find my father, but found so much more. Through my father’s tapes I found the man none of us knew, finding myself within the family I thought I knew. After listening to his tapes our relationship went to another level, I mean, while I was cutting school he was blowing up his school!

Here are some tips to get the different generations of your family connect with each other:

Stop Judging! This is the difficult part, but once we decide to connect with our elders or our youngsters, we have to leave our past relationship habits behind. We have to convince ourselves to meet the person we don’t know from scratch to make possible for everyone to open up, find common ground, and enjoy the ride! 

Take the initiative and Open up! Make it happen. Whether you have a conversation with your Grandparents, parents, or children over tea, coffee, or French fries, just make it happen. Sometimes all it takes sharing one of your funny experiences for the others to follow your lead. If they don’t open up quickly, no worries, just keep trying, make spending time and sharing yourself a new habit of your relationships and they will come around. 3) Arm yourself! Use tapes, scrapbooks, journals, games, anything to get the stories. Then get creative by letting your subjects participate on recording their lives, memories, and special moments. Author Susan Violante wrote a book from her father’s tapes, and now joins her at some speaking events. 4) Squeeze your Creative Juices! You could start your mother-daughter journal, make scrapbooks and exchange them between yourselves, video tape your son interviewing his grandfather, or tape a game where family generations compete against each other during a family get together or the Holidays.

Finally, don’t think it’s too late! Sometimes some of our loved ones leave us before we are able to connect. I never knew the strength my Grandmother had; I wish I knew she hid her Jewish babysitter when I saw her the last time in Italy. Can you imagine the conversation I could have had with her? But now I know thank to my conversations with my father, and I can share that with my kids. You can still get to know them through the information you find in pictures, videos, journals, or recollections from other family members.

Don’t Forget Technology! Facebook, My Space, Story Corps,, just to name a few, are great to get in touch with long lost relatives, and uncover your origins. Use Technology to connect us to our reality by discovering your origins, not just to create a virtual life!



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Reviewed by Masood Lohar 6/5/2012
remaining in "touch" is the key part. Very true
Reviewed by Becky Ayers 10/5/2011
Although I have never had to go through this, your article is quite right. Family is so very important. Many people really don't care at all about their family's history, but it's very integral to who you are as a human being. Whether it be parents, grandparents or great grandparents, the way you act, your outlook and the way you live your life all go back to these people in some way or another. Connecting family and knowing everyone within it, even if they have passed on already is as important as that one missing piece of a puzzle. Nobody should ever give up on knowing who each person of their family is, whether they have spent their entire life with them, or are just seeing them for the first time.
Reviewed by John Domino 1/4/2011
Hi Susan,

I really like your persistance - you have a special gift.
I need to find my roots someday - thank you for the advice.
Here is my New Year's prayer for you:
May your ups outweigh your downs.
May your smiles outweigh your frowns.
May you always feel as young as you are today.
May your faith and joy in life prosper in every way.
May the words that you write and the things you say in 2011,
grant you much love and peace from Our Father who art in Heaven.
Reference: Luke 11:2–4

God grant you much success!

Giovanni Domino
Reviewed by Blondie Clayton 11/30/2010
Thanks for the tips. You've convinced me I need to take the initiative with some of my younger cousins, etc. Valuable information. Look forward to reading more.
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