Monday, February 21, 2011

Benefits of Sharing Family Stories

A WSJ article by Sue Shallenbarger details researchers' studies on the importance of sharing family stories with their children. They found that a sense of family history is linked to childrens' self-esteem and resiliency. And it's not the happily ever after stories that made the difference, but rather those stories where relatives who have grappled with sad or difficult events, were able to overcome and be stronger for their experiences. Kids who knew their family history had fewer emotional problems, and gained a sense of self in relation to their position in the family. A teacher, Catherine Schildknecht, noted in the article that "we think it's important that our childrent know their past."
Look for my new website, which is currently under construction, and will be released soon. It will feature "Questions to ask for finding out about your family history and immigration path to the United States".

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Children of Alcoholics Week Begins 2/14/2011

                     Children of Alcoholics Week Begins 2/14/2011

One in four youth under the age of 18 lives in a family where a person abuses alcohol or suffers from alcoholism. Remember: You are not alone. Lots of teens are in your situation. Remember Alateen. They hold meetings where young people can share tips on how to make their lives easier when a family member drinks too much or uses drugs. You can find the location of meetings by calling 1-888-425-2666, or by logging onto their Web site at

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Travel to my grandparents' homeland

This summer I will be the guest of the American Embassy in the Slovak Republic. They have recognized the memoir I wrote of my mother's childhood, Goodbye America. I will be touring the country in hopes of connecting with my ancestors' history. My mother's village, Pohorela, will be the ultimate goal of my journey. It has been a little less than a century ago when Anna left her beloved America, and settled in Pohorela following the death of her father. She finally rejoined and reunited with her family in America more than five years later. Her story has been a beacon of strength, love, and  hope in our family for three generations. We rejoice that through her memoir, she continues to touch many lives in America, and now will be touching the lives of Slovak youngsters who will learn about the "other side" of the American immigrant success story.