by Zac Majors
A Treasure Box Full of Priceless Moments
Making Unforgettable Memories With Your Little Ones
Our memories with children often don’t get the credit for the impact they have. Therapists, memory experts and psychologists share the opinion that the memories we make as children, later in life, shape our beliefs, values and how we form relationships. We all have one vague memory from times yonder which we can’t place yet it has a significant impact on us.
For me, it was drinking Fierce Melon Gatorade with my Dad and brother on Sunday morning after hooping at Candy Cane Park.
As parents, we often forget how observant our little ones are. We forget that whatever we experience together is forming our children’s early memories, which would later shape their life. They see and remember little things that we might forget the same day but they don’t.
This means that we have the power to create memories for our children. But as our Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman’s Uncle Ben said, “With great power, comes great responsibility.” And indeed, it is an incredibly huge responsibility, but if fulfilled with the right attitude, it can be wonderful for you and your little ones.
When Should You Start?
Well, the consensus is that children start forming explicit memories around the 3-year mark while they make implicit memories up until they are 7-years-old. Despite the consensus, I say, start from the very beginning.
There is a chance, a big one, that your kiddo might not remember most of what happened during their early years. However, that shouldn’t stop you from exposing them to real-life experiences and taking a few photos for the Christmas slideshow!
Typically, most families put in extra effort when holidays and special events come around. Christmas, Hanukkah, birthdays and family vacations are the most vivid memories for most of us. However, it’s the little things that sometimes matter the most – a cliché I truly stand by as a parent.
This means being present in our children’s lives physically, mentally and emotionally. Your undivided attention is how you make those small candid memories your child will remember. It will also have a positive impact on their psyche.
Collective Memories for the Win
Kids raised in healthy homes with healthy parenting models grow up with a colorful mix of positive memories. For example, they have memories just with their parent/s and then they have memories from school, the playground, when they were tottering about on their own, etc.
Your responsibility is making the most of the time you have with them during the day. Whether you’re a stay at home parent or have a rigorous 9-to-5 work routine, allocate a few hours in the day to spend some quality time with your family.
Even if it’s having dinner together every night, reading to them before bed or playing a few games, give your full attention to them. Not only will it strengthen their connection to you, but it will also create a memory your little one will associate with love, joy and laughter.
Don’t Let Teachable Moments Go
Memories are not just limited to happy moments. There will be moments where you have to discipline your child for wrongdoing or moments of sadness such as someone passing away.
Use these moments to have a conversation with them; of course, that depends on how old they are. Answer their questions; explain the emotions they might be feeling; just be attentive and present. This way you will not only make memories, but you will make memories that last a lifetime and sustain the wholesome and irreplaceable love and connection you share with your little one.
Try your best to be present and when you make mistakes (which we all do), apologize and keep on trying. These memories with your children will remain with you and them forever –
so make ‘em count!