Making memories with your children is a way to create a lasting sense of belonging and shared identity. Making memories also builds security in children while giving them a stronger sense of safety. Memories are part of what hold family life together.
There are many simple things you can do to create memories. These days, some families’ schedules are packed with sporting activities, school projects, music lessons and more. Because of this, life’s simple pleasures are often forgotten. If you take the time to recognize life’s simple pleasures, you can begin to create meaningful bonds and create lasting memories with your children.
Making memories is not only about family vacations or day trips. What is more important in creating family memories and bonds is how we interact with our children whether it be through our words or with our actions. Wouldn’t you rather be remembered for being present and loving rather than to be remembered as the family tour guide?
Shared memories are also one of the things that strengthen the bond between parents and teenagers. The “emotional deposits” made throughout childhood make communication much easier during their teen years.
Creating happy memories for our children is something that is very easy to do and it is very inexpensive.
Below are some ideas on how you can start creating memories with your children:
Give Them the Gift of Your Time
Children become more secure, confident and cooperative when you invest in quality time with them. When you spend separate quality time with each of your children, it actually minimizes sibling rivalry. Children crave quality time with their parents due to a strong and natural drive for attention.
It is important to have separate “dates” with each of your children. Schedule one-on-one time with each one of your children. When two people are able to give each other their complete and undivided attention, bonds deepen. Joy, love and understanding are reaped. Trust me, they will cherish these days as much as you do!
When your driving, talk with your children. It’s easy to put on the radio and have them sit in the back seat, playing a video game. Turn the radio off and engage them in conversation. Ask them questions. Point things out that you see when you’re driving.
When you go out for lunch or dinner, be sure to put your cell phone away. Checking Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, your email, etc., can wait. The moment that you have with your children is precious. Take the time to talk with them. Remember when you talk to them, look at them. Eye contact is powerful.
The gift of time costs nothing yet it means absolutely everything. Take advantage of every moment. Spend every minute you can with your children. Don’t take it for granted and put it off. Tomorrow may never come.
Write to Your Children
I have been writing to my children since before they were even born.
Buy a special journal to write in for each one of your children. Write them letters. Express your feelings, your hopes, your dreams or things you always want them to remember. By doing this, you are creating something they will cherish forever.
On special occasions, don’t just sign a card. Write them a letter right there on the card. Isn’t that so much more special than just signing “Love Mom or Love Dad?”
I started writing notes to my boys when they started preschool. I packed a note everyday with their snack. The notes soon became lunch notes and continued throughout middle school. My boys are now online schooled and I still write them notes to find when they come down for either breakfast or lunch.
It’s fun to just get into the car as a family and drive without any destination in mind. You will discover not only new places to visit, but you will discover new things while at the same time, building memories.
Go to your local library and pick out a bunch of books. If your children are old enough, let them pick out the books they want you to read. Each day, at a time of your choosing, sit on the couch with a few books and read to your children. I lovingly remember sitting in the middle of my boys, each with their head on my shoulders as I read to them. Sometimes we’d wind up reading all of them and we’d have to go back to the library to get more. A great memory!
In our home, we have many family traditions. A couple of our favorites are family game night and family movie night. It’s special bonding time that causes interaction as well as a whole lot of laughter.
Start your own traditions. Have a family party where you buy snacks and celebrate being a family. It’s really so much fun!
Whatever you choose to do, take the time to invest in starting family traditions. Traditions are sacred and they bond families together and make them even closer. You will never regret or forget the times your family laughed, played, and spent time quality time together and neither will your children.
I hope this post has inspired you to start making wonderful memories with your children.
After all, isn’t family what life is all about?