Five Ways to . . . Create Great Memories for Your Children

3 years ago by in Five Ways to . . ., Resources Tagged: ,

5 Ways to . . . Create Great Memories for Your Children

When I was a year six teacher, at the end of the school year I’d ask the children to recall one key memory from each of their years at primary school. It was a fascinating view of their school experiences and one common thing often happened: most of the children wrote and drew about disasters, mishaps or negative experiences of some kind. They would all remember that year 3 was the year their teacher tripped over and banged her head in the classroom. One would recall that in year 2 he had broken his arm. Another child would tell me that their best friend left the school in year five. When asked for one memory, they often remembered a negative one.

Now that I have my own children, this has really made me think: what will be the key memories that my children have of their childhoods? I would be so sad if they remembered a disproportionate amount of negative experiences. No matter how rich or poor a person is, and no matter how many material belongings are owned, it is only memories and experiences that stay with us always and create the emotional landscape and echoes of our lives.

So how do we create good memories for our children to carry into adulthood? I’m going to ask my children what their main memories are so far. I would like to know what their favourite places, experiences, days out, games, play dates, funny moments and achievements have been to date. Then I will try and create experiences that they will love and enjoy and that I hope will form strong, positive memories for them to treasure as they grow.

What are your strongest memories of childhood? I don’t know whether you consider your childhood to have been ‘good’ or a ‘bad.’ I also don’t know if you view it as the kind of childhood you want for your child or whether you are trying to give them the opposite of what you had. Either way, strong feelings associated with your own childhood memories will prove to you just how clearly a child carries their key memories.

So here are 5 ways in which we can strengthen the positive moments in order that they may become key memories that really stick in their minds:

  1. Take lots of photographs and look at them regularly by making scrapbooks or homemade story books of fun, family times.
  2. Spend some time talking with your child about their favourite memories and experiences and enjoy and relive them again.
  3. After fun and special times, record a video of your child recounting the event. Imagine when they’re older and they can watch themselves and smile.
  4. Create a place for your child to keep mementoes, souvenirs and precious objects. They can keep their treasures safe and enjoy looking through them from time to time.
  5. On a Sunday night, before the new week begins, take turns to name your best three moments of the previous week. This will focus attention on the positive aspects of the week and  give your child’s developing mind regular practice at filtering their experiences and memories in a positive way.

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