article by Bruce Feiler that appeared in The New York Times on March 15th, 2013 that claims children can become happier through the power of story.
In his article, which is based on his book, "The Secrets of Happy Families: How to Improve Your Morning, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smart, Go Out and Play, and Much More," Bruce Feiler writes that: "The more children knew about their family’s history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned."
According to Bruce Feiler, a shared family narrative, that provided a strong story about sticking together as a family unit through a past that might have included ups and downs, "turned out to be the best single predictor of children’s emotional health and happiness."
And, according to Mr. Feiler, this isn't just wishful thinking: There is apparently research (like that conducted by Marshall Duke, a psychologist at Emory University) to support the importance of '[creating, refining and retelling] the story of your family’s positive moments and your ability to bounce back from the difficult ones."
Bruce Feiler's conclusion? "[H]appy families, like happy people, just add a new chapter to their life story that shows them overcoming the hardship. This skill is particularly important for children, whose identity tends to get locked in during adolescence."