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How To Get Your Parents Recording Their Stories (With You)

Parents are, for many of us, the absolute anchors in our lives. They are beacons of support; fountains of experience and vaults of knowledge that often help vicariously shape our understanding of the world before we’ve even had a chance to explore it ourselves. 

Though you may have known your parents your entire life, how much do you really know about them? Their youth; their lives before you and their lives since? Their passions and interests; their hopes, dreams and everything they learned on the way trying to obtain them. 

There’s an invaluable quality to these stories that many do not realise until the opportunity to hear them – and better yet save them – is no longer available. That’s why we implore you to take the chance today and start saving the stories that matter. 

The Typical Reservations

That being said, we know that some take more convincing than others to save their stories. If you’ve already asked your parents to record their experiences and stories with you and you’ve been met with a ‘no,’ the chances are it was followed by one of the following reservations:

  • My life isn’t interesting enough

  • I don’t think I want to talk about myself

  • Who would want to hear my stories?

Well, we have an answer for all three:

  • Yes, their life has certainly been interesting! They’ve lived through several pivotal decades, and with that they’ve seen: the world change; attitudes change; a technological revolution and so much more. They’ve been a parent (and possibly a grandparent) and been granted all the experiences that provides. They’ve known happiness; sadness; love; loss and everything in between. Trust me, their life is interesting enough…

  • They may not like the idea of talking about themselves – they may think it egotistical or awkward – but the majority of people actually enjoy talking about their life and experiences once they get into the flow. This is particularly true when discussing it with a close loved one who genuinely wants to have the conversation, and even more so when those same experiences will be enjoyed by grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

  • I may have answered that in the point above but… family! Sure, they might not want strangers reading, listening or watching the details of their life, but their family deserves them! Not only would they be of great sentimental value, but there are undoubtedly many lessons, advice and values that would serve generations to come, if they’re given the chance.

Still Not Warming? Try These Out…

Hopefully, you’ve managed to sway your relative with any of the points above, but just in case they don’t look like they’re gonna budge, try mentioning some of these fair and very valid points:

  • They won’t always be here to tell the story. Life is as precious as it is fragile, and just because they’re at no risk today, the same cannot be said for certain of tomorrow. Do they really want their story to disappear? Think how warming these little pieces of them would be to you if they were no longer here.

  • Ask them to do it as a gift to you or the grandchildren. Rather than a fancy present or some sort of physical gift that may or may not see any use, ask them to take the time to have these conversations with you, so you can record and preserve their words; their voices; their faces. A sentimental gift is a truly invaluable gift, and who can refuse such an ask?

  • Put it into perspective for them. Would they have liked to have the opportunity to know about the lives and experience of their parents, grandparents and beyond, from their own mouths? Of course they would, so why would they want to take away that chance from you and your (future) children?

Iternal Makes The Process Easy

Ok, so you’ve convinced them to start saving their stories with you. You want to find the quickest, safest, most accessible way to do so; where do you look? No further than the Iternal app. 

Our free app allows you to record straight to a personal timeline, whether you’re writing or  recording. Want to make the experience as easy-going as possible? Place your phone on the table, press ‘Record Audio’ and let the organic conversation flow; it really is that simple.

While you help capture your parents legacy, have a think about your own. Have you considered what your own experiences might mean to your descendants? Take the initiative today and tell your story today. 

In the meantime, be sure to check out our blog space every week for new content!