What Kind Do You Want Your Child to Have?
What are your best childhood memories? Is it of fun and games in school? Is it of loving times with Mom and Dad? Memories have great power over us. Memories of good times can sustain us throughout our lives, especially during periods of great turmoil. Unhappy memories, too, have a strong hold on our emotions and actions long after the event.
Childhood memories are the first memories we make. They can be like pleasant dreams which bring a smile to our face or nightmares from which we wish we could awaken. As parents, we can influence the type of memories our children will have of their childhood years. We can fill their memories with laughter, loving words and family togetherness. Or we can fill it with constant admonitions, criticisms and frequent quarrels.
We can never be sure of what kind of memories we will remember. Which events will stand out? Think of your strongest memories. Is it of major occasions like vacations and birthdays? Or is it of the smallest incidents – a conversation, shared laughter, a goodnight kiss? Knowing that memories can be formed at any time, we must be more aware of what happens during everyday interactions. Your child's childhood memories will likely be made of the quiet moments when you are enjoying each other's company or the quarrels you had.
School takes up a large bulk of the childhood years. When children start school, it is all too easy for parents to get caught up in the competition for grades. In an effort to make sure our children do not fall behind their peers, we nag them to do their homework, nag them to stop playing so much and maybe send them for tons of enrichment classes. What we often forget to do though is take the time to listen to them; to discuss current affairs so they understand what is going on in the community; or to just let them know that you value them beyond their grades in school.
Yes, school and grades are important. But what is more crucial is that your children enjoy their childhood. We can learn academic subjects throughout our life. We only have a few short years to enjoy our childhood. Your children's childhood memories should be of more than just studying, studying and more studying. They should remember the parties they had; the silly, childish fun they had with their friends or the loving family outings they enjoyed with cousins, aunts and uncles.
In school, our children have to learn to face myriad situations. They may face strict teachers, indifferent teachers, bullies, fair-weather friends and a competitive learning environment. How they cope and what kind of memories they form depends on their attitude towards their situation. If they view it as a challenge which they are capable of overcoming, then they will have happy childhood memories of school. If they see it as insurmountable difficulties, then they will form nightmarish childhood memories which they hate to remember.
We can help them develop the right attitude so they form happy childhood memories. Being aware of our influence is half the battle won. Take the time to make sure your child has wonderful childhood memories.
What are your own childhood memories?
Raising kids is the most important job in the world. All caring adults, not just parents and teachers, should help raise the kids in our community. Children learn to be patient or impatient, caring or indifferent, helpful or heartless from the adults around them.
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