Parenting: Little Things That Add Up To Big Family Memories

What do you remember about your childhood? You probably remember a lot of firsts; your first day of school, the first time you rode your bike without training wheels, and your first sleepover. Give your kiddos lots of good fuzzy memories to think back on that don’t involve “firsts” by doing some of the suggestions below. Not only will your little ones have these memories, but they’ll be great for you to think back on too.

    1. The cards your children give you for your birthday, mother’s day, or father’s day likely aren’t store-bought. Return the favor by getting out the crayons, glue, and glitter and crafting a homemade card for your little one on their special day. Your child will be just as excited to receive a card made by mom or dad as they are when they give one, because you made it special just for them.
    2. “When a child gives you a gift, even if it is a rock they just picked up, exude gratitude. It might be the only thing they have to give, and they have chosen to give it to you.” -Dean Jackson.
    3. If the gift is something you can show off, do so. Rock that macaroni necklace on your day off or stick that art on the fridge for all to see. They’ll remember how much mom or dad loved the gift they got them.
    4. Give each child their own one-on-one time when you can. Go for a walk, have a tea party, read a book together, or head out for a day on the town with just the two of you. Make sure you tell them how much you loved your walk or day out with them.
    5. Let them know you’re thinking of them by occasionally slipping in a little note or adding in a surprise treat into their lunchbox.
    6. Do what they’re into. If your older kiddo is into video games or computer games, spend some time playing right along beside them.
    7. Every once in a while, make something that’s usually off limits okay. Let your kids play outside in the rain, jump in puddles, or roll around in the leaves. If you’re feeling brave, join in! Sometimes getting wet or messy is a great way to make fun memories.
    8. Start new traditions that your child will want to continue when they are grown and have a family of their own. It can be something you do once a year like visiting a farm and picking fruit or something you do weekly like go on a family bike ride every weekend.
    9. Go through your childhood mementos with your kids. Look at old pics, tell them your favorite memories, what you wanted to be when you grew up, and so on. To them, you’ve always been mom and dad, and they’ll get a kick out of seeing you as a kid.
    10. You’ve heard it over and over, and it’s true; family dinners leave memories that can last a lifetime. As often as you can, sit around the table together as a family, eat, tell jokes, laugh, talk about your day, and forget everything else. Your kiddos will remember it, and it’s a great way to bond as a family. Does the after work rush to feed your family make your head spin? Check out our post Quick and Easy Dinner Ideas for Busy Parents.

Do you know of another way to give your growing kiddos some fuzzy memories to look back on? What do you do now with your family that you know you’ll cherish the memories of later on?

Photo courtesy of Courtney Santos on Flickr.

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