About Us

Charlotte and Jonah Barnes are amateur child wranglers. They live with 6 miniature humans and are responsible for feeding, clothing, bathing and bandaging them. Their experiences — like the experiences of billions of parents the world over — are enough to fill a library … a frightening, frightening library.

At 28-years-old, Jonah experienced sudden heart palpitations and discovered he has Paroxysmal Atrial Tachycardia, which is a condition that probably won’t kill you but is sure to scare the daylights out of you. As a result, Jonah became very interested in researching his family history so his children would have an understanding of who they are if Jonah’s heart should decide to very suddenly take the day off.

This was right about the time Jonah discovered his heart issues and launch into family history research. All the while, Charlotte was juggling these boys.

Charlotte had studied Psychology and was neck deep in mothering their fast-growing family. She noticed that the family history Jonah was researching had a deep impact on their children. Their children remembered the stories better than “where-did-I-leave-my-pre-chewed-piece-of-gum?”. Charlotte heard her children retell those stories like they were their own stories. While Jonah researched the history, Charlotte researched the psychology.

What she found was amazing. Turns out, family stories were the best-kept-secret of parenting.

Child developmental psychology is just discovering the power of family stories. Research in personality development, emotional intelligence, family behavior and self-esteem — this research showed children reaping tremendous benefits from studying their family story. Family stories give children identity, emotional stability, self-esteem, etc., etc..

As their family grew (six children and counting!*), Charlotte and Jonah began incorporating their family story into their lives. They played games and designed activities to engage their kids in their history. After several years, they’ve accumulated nearly a hundred tried and true family activities that help connect children to their ancestors.

The Barneses live in Washington state where they own a wholesale bakery. Their children are getting tired of eating bagels.

One of Charlotte’s early presentations on her family story activities.

*maybe

Videos of Speaking Opportunities

We were guests on an “Our Turtle House” digital fireside on May 16, 2020. Our portion is from 8:50-33:00
Enjoy this conversation on High Five Live about creating a family culture of… Family History!
A virtual mother’s group lecture about creating a strong family culture. April 2020.
This is a brief teaser about how powerful family stories can be in the lives of our children. Given to a mother’s group Dec 2019.
A discussion with a mother’s group about the benefits of children knowing their family stories. Jan 2020

What People Say

Jonah and Charlotte are the best parents I’ve ever had.

Our first child

Jonah and Charlotte are honest and trustworthy authors.

Abraham Lincoln

Well, one of them is a city. And didn’t the other guy get eaten by a whale or something?

Confused pedestrian

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