Reflect for a moment on your own childhood. You can probably recall some happy memories at the back of your mind as well as a few you’d rather forget. What causes an incident to become a long term memory is something even psychologists can’t answer with utmost certainty but what they can be sure about is how a positive childhood experience can impact one’s adult life. As parents we have the responsibility of creating a beautiful childhood for our children. One day they themselves will be adults looking back on these very memories you helped create.
How can parents purposefully make decisions to give their children a positive childhood? I may not have all the answers you are looking for but I have some for sure! Here is a list of five things you can start doing from today to help give your child a childhood of happy and fun memories!
1. Building a Tight Knit Connection with the Family
A unique child-family experience is a foundation for shaping every child’s life choices, personality and overall behaviour. It takes quality time and lots of it to make memories. For instance one of my favourite memories growing up was cooking Sunday night meals with my father and that’s a practice I've carried forward with my kids. These day-to-day interactions where you and your children are fully engaged overflow a childhood with happy memories.
Sunday night board games, living room forts made out of old sheets, Lego-building until your eyes start to strain - these are the moments that live on forever.
2. Creating Traditions
Parents can seamlessly weave traditions into many areas of their child’s life and those special recurring moments are what create magic. For us it was always an ice cream treat on the result day! We do it till date, on any special occasion. Such traditions are what bond families. If your family doesn’t have unique family traditions, consider trying to make some that your children can carry on with them once they become adults. If your family does have traditions, be sure to pass them down so that everyone can experience the magic.
3. Forming Powerful Bonds with Friends
Peer relationships play an extremely vital role in a child’s life and they become even more influential when they enter the adolescent stage. Take it from a perennial hostess. Sometimes being the house where all the kids hang out has major drawbacks. Noisy laughter, piles of shoes at the front door and toys strewn everywhere; but the pluses always outweigh the minuses. Most children either don’t enjoy interacting or simply don’t have fully developed social skills. Helping them by guiding their play with friends or simply just suggesting an activity they can take on can help them create positive memories of their time spent with friends.
4. Creating Tangible Memories
Remember when slam books were a thing? While Instagram and Facebook have now taken over they serve the same purpose - compiling memories. Creating tangible memories can help children remember parts of their childhood they might have otherwise forgotten. Photo albums and framed pictures of your childhood days or of family spending time together displayed around the home, tell your children that family is to be always cherished. Make things with and for your children and you’ll end up making beautiful memories at the same time.
5. Being involved in your child’s education
School invariably consumes a considerable amount of your child’s childhood and you being involved in the process is so important to them even if they don’t say it. Children may go through difficulties while at school - it could be bullying or not being able to keep up or simply not feeling motivated enough. This is where parental support should come in as it helps them feel seen and heard and what better than being there for your child to help them manoeuvre through tough times? School years are some of the most crucial years and ensuring a positive impact during that time can be an absolute game-changer for life.
It’s been rightly said that where your treasure is, there your heart will be. A parent’s most valuable treasure is their time, the time they choose to spend with their children and the time they choose to bond with them. So here’s our question to you - where do you spend the majority of your time? Is it trying to create a beautiful childhood for your children? If not, maybe it’s time to start now. One day they will thank you! That’s all folks. This blog really got me teary eyed and nostalgic and I'd love to spread the joy! Send us your favourite memories from your childhood or memories you are creating for your child. Let’s get sharing!