Skip to main content

Write Captivating Life-Lessons That Children Love In 8 Steps

Andrew Ronald
Simirity Founder | Father of Two

Much of life is trial and error. We think we know the right way, and discover our failings. A lot can be said of learning things the hard way like this, but as a parent, I’m keen to share my hard-earned mistakes with my children. Repeating my mistakes seems unnecessary – they can learn from my life lessons and venture into new areas to make their own mistakes!

Sharing stories about our hard-won life lessons can really help your family. But it can be challenging, especially if the topic is sensitive or you still feel embarrassed about your past actions. Thankfully, writing your story can be a lot easier than talking about it in person. It allows you to compose your thoughts carefully and only share when everything’s just so. 

To make writing life lessons easy, use the following story template.

A lady considering the life lessons she can share with her family.
Hard lessons were learned – now it’s time to pass them on.

“By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.”

Confucius

Sharing stories about our experiences with others gives them the chance to learn through reflection. Wouldn’t you prefer that for your children than the ‘bitterest’ option listed above? Let’s see how your experiences can help your family.

Jump to section:

What Experience Can You Share?

If you could share some wisdom with your younger self, what would you share?

It’s too late for you, but what you’ve learned can help your children, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren. So many hard-earned lessons from life are not taught in schools, so the younger generation predominantly relies on family for advice on topics like:

  • Mental health.
  • Physical health.
  • Relationship struggles.
  • Self-identity challenges.
  • Addiction and recovery.
  • Poor professional choices.
  • Poor financial choices.
  • Poor values or beliefs that influenced your behaviour. 
  • Personal growth challenges.

There are so many pitfalls in life like those above. I’ve been fortunate to have great parents who helped me navigate challenges by sharing stories from their lives. I learned a great deal from their experiences. I don’t feel I ‘missed out’ on making mistakes firsthand; I got to bypass these mistakes and make my own as I ventured further down the road.

If you would like to see some examples of what a life lesson looks like, check out James Clears’ Life Lessons.

The 8-Step Story Template

Sometimes it’s hard to find the right words. What should be said and in what order to create a story that others find interesting and helpful? Story templates help by breaking your story down into carefully chosen steps that ensure your story grabs readers’ attention. 

Now all you have to do is fill in each section, and hey presto, you’ll have a great story that family can learn from. 

Copy the steps in your writing editor, and replace each section with your story.

LIFE LESSON STEPS:
1. CONTEXT
2. WHAT HAPPENED
3. HOW YOU FELT (SHORT)
4. EXPAND ON YOUR FEELINGS
5. YOUR REALISATION
6. LIFE LESSON SUMMARY
7. HOW LIFE’S BETTER NOW 
8. WHY YOU’RE SHARING

1. Set the context

Start by setting the stage for your story. This makes your story more relatable and sticky.

  • How old were you?
  • Where were you living at the time?
  • What events led up to the coming lesson?
  • What were you like back then?

2. Explain what happened

This is the ‘backstory’ to your lesson. Here you add details to give the reader a complete picture of how it all came about.

  • Who is a part of this story?
  • What roles did they have?
  • What happened?
  • What did you do?
  • What did you expect to be the result of your action?
  • What actually happened?

3. Single sentence explanation of how you felt

Your feelings give meaning to the story.

Give a single sentence that explains succinctly how you felt as a result of what happened. You will elaborate on this next. 

4. Expand on your feelings

Now take that opening sentence and expand on it, so the reader feels what you felt. 

  • How big a deal was this for you back then?
  • How much did it impact other areas of your life?
  • How did your feelings evolve over time?
  • Did your interpretation of the event change over time?
  • What triggered you to think about what happened?

5. Your realisation

Now your story has turned the corner, transitioning from the backstory to what you learned from your experience. 

  • When did you start to realise there was a lesson to be learned here? 
  • Were others helping you make this realisation?
  • What was your realisation? Be as detailed as needed.
  • How did you feel having made this realisation? 

6. The life lesson summarised

What are the one or two key lessons from your story? What do you hope others will learn from it? 

  • Capture each learning in a single sentence.
  • Remove all unnecessary words.
  • Ensure it visually stands out on the page.

7. How life’s better now

Explain the consequence of learning this lesson. This is your happy ending, showing that hard times were faced and overcome. 

  • How important is this lesson for you?
  • How regularly do you refer back to this lesson?
  • How has it helped you in your life?

8. Why you’re sharing this story

Add context to the story by sharing your reasons for writing it. 

  • What are your hopes for those who read it?
  • What is the final message or moral you wish the reader to the left with?

How Simirity App Helps Families Share Their Life Lessons

Simirity is a family business, and like you, we want to share what we have learned with our younger family members. 

On our family holiday.

We created the Simirity App so families can privately share stories about their lives, including stories about hard times and lessons learned. Over time, your entire family can build an archive of digital stories, filled with memorable photos, videos and audio, that share your experiences with young generations.

Introduction to the Simirity App.

Sharing wisdom is a core part of the Simirity app. 

When you create stories, you can add a Life Lesson section. This summarises your overall life lesson, as mentioned above in step 6. It stands out visually in your story, catching people’s attention. But more importantly, all the Life Lessons from all family stories can be viewed on one page – a single source for all your family wisdom. Scroll down the list or apply filters to find Life Lessons of interest, then click to access the whole story.

Example of the Life Lessons page, showing various lessons from multiple different stories.
The life Lessons page is where lessons contained in all stories live.

Of course, you don’t need Simirity to write and share your lessons. An email, a document, or even a letter work well, too, although they might not have the visibility or longevity of a digital story stored alongside all your other family stories.

If you would like to learn more about the Simirity app, visit our home page.

, , ,

Share

If you enjoy posts like this, you might also enjoy our newsletter

It’s dedicated to helping families. Read in 3 minutes or less.

Recommended