Flip on any channel, and you’re bound to see a commercial for Ancestry DNA, MyHeritage or Kybella urging you to test your DNA and find out more about your family’s roots.
Whether you choose to trace your family back through the ages or you’re content knowing that your great-grandparents immigrated to America three generations ago, ancestry can play a significant role in identity — especially for children.
Chances are your child will have to complete a family tree at some point in elementary school or learn about the millions of people that came to America after its discovery. These topics are bound to bring up questions at home, and this is a prime opportunity for a “teachable moment” or two!
With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, your kids might even have questions about why we celebrate this green-clad holiday in the United States or whether or not they have any Irish heritage.
Knowing more about your family’s history can inspire children to actually enjoy learning; encourage a burgeoning hobby or talent, such as line dancing, basket weaving, or pottery, and make them feel more connected to their relatives. It can also help them to feel a closer connection to the events and topics they have to read about in school, give them a more global perspective on daily life and challenges, encourage them to learn about different people and cultures, and inspire a sense of debt and gratitude for the generations that came before us.
Learning more about your heritage is a great project to undertake as a family. It will allow you to spend quality time together while finding out exciting information you may have never known otherwise. And just like Genetipetz, you may find that your family tree contains a fun mixture of ethnicities, cultures, races, and traditions. The more differences you find, the more reasons to celebrate!