Making memories that last with our children is so important to me. One of my parenting goals is to create a home culture that our children will want to come back to after they are grown.
Sure I joke a lot about how my kids drive me crazy…because they totally do…
But I love them with all of my being and I would hate to see a day where they avoid us. Now, I do realize that teenagers go through this phase.
That isn’t exactly what I am talking about.
What I am referring to is creating a home that the kids will want to bring THEIR kids back to when they have all moved on with their lives. I hope they always make time to call and visit when we are old.
It’s my personal belief that this starts with having a happy childhood. When they look back on their life and think of us I want their lasting memories to be ones they are fond of.
Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re making memories that last.
Always keep the bigger picture in mind
We have all been here…
There was this really awesome family outing you planned to do with the kids. You go and things start going down hill pretty fast. You begin to wonder why you decided to take these ungrateful kids out in the first place…
It’s important to remember that no matter how hard you try things are never going to go perfectly. At some point someone is going to start whining and you are likely going to get irritated.
Before you overreact to something take a deep breath and ask yourself what you want your children to remember about this day? Unfortunately, bad experiences stand out in memories more often than good ones.
If you have gone out of your way to spend quality time together as a family, then do your best to keep it a positive experience. It’s okay if things don’t go according to plan.
Develop family traditions
We didn’t have too many family traditions when I was growing up. But the ones we did have are some of the best memories that I have.
As a parent I want my kids to grow up enjoying family traditions as well. When you do something year after year it not only becomes something that everyone looks forward to, but it becomes a solid string of happy memories.
In my opinion, when it comes to making memories with our kids family traditions are the best.
Spend quality time together often
Making memories with our kids is something we can do every day. It can be as simple as eating dinner together and talking about our days. You can snuggle up with the kids and watch a favorite family show. Read a book or play a board game together.
It doesn’t have to be elaborate. When we interact with our kids this way we get to know them a little better and they understand us a little better.
Spending a little quality time together each day is key for making memories that last.
Keep things simple
You want to know what my favorite family tradition was? It was decorating poptarts at Christmas time. Yes, we decorated poptarts instead of cookies.
But you know what? It was fun and that was all that mattered to me at the time. I didn’t care that my mom couldn’t bake to save her life (sorry mom! 🙂 ) nor did I resent the fact that we couldn’t decorate “real” cookies.
That never even crossed my mind as a kid. I only came to that conclusion as an adult when my mom tried to make brownies once…
My point here is that kids are not going to notice whether you choose to do something super simple or over the top. As long as they are having a good time in the moment, that is what they will remember.
Focus on what the kids would like
This is a tough one for me to stick to! There are so many things that I would love to do with our kids! However, most of my ideas fall flat with them.
Recently, I had asked the kids if they wanted to go apple picking. To my surprise, they said no it was not something that they would want to do.
Yes, I know that I am the parent and get ultimate decision making powers. But if I am trying to spend quality time with the kids and want this to be a good experience, then the activity really should be something the kids would enjoy as well.
Going back to my apple picking example, when I asked the kids what they would rather do they said they just wanted to go visit their Great Grandma.
This proves everything I was trying to say here. That most of the time, what matters most is who we are spending our time with not what we are doing.
Do you have any unique family traditions? I would love to here them in the comments below!