I often think about my best childhood memories and how they have impacted my life as an adult. Some things stand out more than others, and often those that live closer to the forefront of my memory bank are memories of time spent with my family.
As a mom, my goal has always been to cultivate a life that my family truly loves and cherishes. Also, to give my boys lasting childhood memories that they can look back on and reflect on one day.
While we tend to think that bigger is better, simplicity can sometimes result in the best memories of all. This can be done in the confines of your own home, in your backyard, or out on a nightly walk with nothing more than the bright starry sky and the sound of crickets chirping in the distance. You can ask my frog seeking boys. They will attest to that.
Embracing Motherhood and Encouraging Memory Making
My boys are 13, 11, and 6. As I’ve said many times, I am in the sweet spot of parenting. Everything feels easier than before and easier than I know is to come. It’s the sweet spot, and I’ve lived comfortably here for awhile. I love where I am now but no more than where I once was or where I will be in the coming years, either. It just feels exceptionally sweet and comes with ease and less urgency. This is the time when memory-making takes a front seat to so many other things.
With that said, I feel that I have traveled through this motherhood journey enough to recognize the moments that create lasting memories and the ones that drift by as fast as they arrived. The moments that linger tend to revolve around togetherness and memory-making. Two of my favorite things when it comes to my family.
So without further adieu, here are my favorite ways to successfully create lasting childhood memories that my children will always remember.
Top 10 Ways To Create Lasting Childhood Memories With Your Child
- Be Present – In today’s world, where distraction is everywhere, and everything is yelling for our attention, this can prove to be a difficult one to master. Several years ago, I read the book Hands Free Mama by Rachel Macy Stafford, and it shifted my way of thinking when it comes to distraction. Growing up in a simpler time, I knew that the sudden urgency that came along with emails, texts, and social media wasn’t as urgent as one grows to believe. I made a choice to let them see my eyes looking into theirs more often than they saw mine staring into my phone. It hasn’t always been easy. At times, I still struggle, but being present has always been my number one goal while traveling through this journey of raising my boys.
I made a choice to let them see my eyes looking into theirs more often than they saw mine staring into my phone.Click To Tweet
- Eat Together – Eating together around a table every night hasn’t always been my family’s strong suit. Therefore, it’s not something that happens daily, but when we do take the time to eat together, something magical happens. I want to preface this by saying that no electronic devices are ever allowed at our dinner table. Nor are they allowed to be present while dining out at a restaurant. This is where being present comes into play. Eating together while staring at a phone doesn’t equate to building lifelong memories with your loved ones. So when we do eat together, without distraction, the magic is this…conversations, eye contact, belly laughs, storytelling, connection and real-life memory making.
- Create Family Traditions – Family traditions can be something as simple as taking afternoon walks after dinner or Thursday night family game nights. It can be taking 1st day of school photos or reading bedtime stories every night before bed. Family traditions are things that are done repeatedly over time and passed down from one generation to another. The great thing about traditions, though, is that you can start them whenever you choose. If you didn’t grow up with family traditions taking place in your home, then don’t fret. It’s your turn to create your own family traditions for your children, and you can start creating those today.
- Celebrate Together – Celebrate birthdays, holidays, report cards, life accomplishments or that last baseball win. Whatever it may be, take the time to celebrate life’s many victories together. These moments of recognization and celebration will linger in your children’s memories longer than if you had let them pass without any sort of acknowledgment. These celebrations will be the flashbacks your children will have from their childhoods in ten, twenty, and thirty years.
- Read Books Together – One of my earliest childhood memories is that of reading books together. I remember my twin sister, and I would snuggle up in bed with my mom often while she read Curious George books to us. I couldn’t have been any older than two or three at the time, but there is something about those moments that stand out from all of the rest. The warmth of our bodies all snuggled in tight. The belly laughs that could be heard two doors over, from our small quaint two-bedroom apartment. Books gave me those memories to carry around with me for a lifetime. Memories that I will forever cherish when I sit and reminisce about my childhood memories.
- Say I Love You – Don’t be afraid to utter those three simple words often. I know many adults who have told me that their parents never really told them they loved them. While they knew it to be true, it often went unsaid. I, myself, had a different experience altogether with a mother who said those words daily. And so, I understand the importance of speaking them to my own children as well – the way those words made me feel and how they helped in molding my childhood memories as well. My husband also says these words daily to our boys. He, too, understands the importance of letting them know just how much they mean to the two of us.
- Listen To Them – Take time out of your day to truly listen to your children. Put your phone down, make eye contact, get rid of outside distraction, and tune in to what it is that they are trying to tell you. Respond with urgency and emotion. Let them know that what they are saying matters to you. This devotion to them will not go unnoticed and will end up playing a part in their childhood memories as well.
Put your phone down, make eye contact, get rid of outside distraction, and tune in to what it is that they are trying to tell you. Respond with urgency and emotion. Let them know that what they are saying matters to you.Click To Tweet
- Schedule Family Time – Schedule in family time often. When life gets busy, family time can sometimes get pushed aside. Between school and work and extracurriculars and everything else that fills our calendars, sometimes those hours devoted to the people who mean the most to us dwindle. The best way to ensure that you have family time regularly is to schedule it and follow through with your plans.
- Play Together – Let’s be honest, playing together in some realms can be excruciating for some, while it can come more naturally to others. Playtime doesn’t have to be playing with barbies or hot wheels. It can be doing anything you choose. Find something you enjoy doing with them, and do it. My favorite things to do with my children are go to the park, play board games, do puzzles, dance, create crafts and play Super Mario on the Nintendo Switch, along with so many others.
- Hug Them – If your child is uncomfortable with physical affection, respect their personal space, and find other ways to show them that you care. But, if not, hug them up daily. Kiss their foreheads. Physical affection can lift spirits and create connection, as well as fill a space tucked away into their childhood memories. This little gesture of love and endearment can not only strengthen the bond the two of you share, but also give your child the confidence they need in future relationships.
So there you go. These are my favorite ten ways to help establish and create long-lasting childhood memories for my children. How about you? How do you choose to create those special memories with your child?
Holly is a 42 year old wife and mom to 3 boys, from Nashville, Tennessee. She is a hot tea lover, book reader, journal keeper, Pinterest pinner, podcast listener, y’all sayer, self-taught graphic designer, hobbyist photographer, writer and dreamer of all things big and small. You can find all of her ramblings here at Blu Nest Bloom.