5 Meaningful Memories to Make with Your Kids
How to determine it’s a good fit
As a parent, do you ever feel like time is moving too quickly to savor the season?
You’re not alone. 6 in 10 parents worry they aren’t making enough family memories.
A study conducted by OnePoll in conjunction with Crayola Experience surveyed 2,000 parents of school-aged kids and found that 57 percent felt they struggle to find quality time with their children due to a hectic daily life.
The pace of our lives is often outpacing the dreams and visions we may have had for our families. As a result, we feel disconnected, spread too thin, and unable to make the kinds of memories we want with our kids.
So what do we do?
We all have priorities outside of our kids—we have relationships, jobs, and responsibilities. In reality, we live busy lives because we still have to clothe, feed, and provide for their basic needs. Yet, we all want our kids to look back fondly on their childhood. So much so that many of us feel a compulsive need to “make up” for the ways we think we’ve fallen short by focusing our energy on occasional, grand, out-of-the-ordinary experiences—like that once-in-a-lifetime trip you have been planning for these past five years.
Here’s the good news: we don’t need to rely on a few over-the-top experiences to have a meaningful impact on our kids’ lives. In fact, it’s often the ordinary moments that matter the most.
5 Types of memories to make with your kids
Some of the best moments we can create with our kids are ones that allow them to tap into their resilience. Unfortunately, we aren’t doing our kids any favors when we curate their lives in a way that limits their exposure to difficulty or disappointment. Experiences that require us to overcome challenges or try something new teach us we can do hard things. If the goal is to raise kids who become well-rounded adults, we have to help them understand their ability to face adversity.
Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means stepping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail. If we’re always following our children into the arena, hushing the critics, and assuring their victory, they’ll never learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own.
Memories to make with your kids that involve conquests:
- Go on a day hike
- Do a DIY project
- Fix something broken
- Learn a new skill
- Go camping
Establishing rituals and routines is one of the best but most underrated memories we can make with our kids. A 2014 study found that establishing consistent practices with our kids plays a significant role in developing lifelong emotional and social skills.
These five things—having dinner as a family, reading, storytelling or singing, and playing—done at least a few times a week, were linked to a 47 percent increase in overall social-emotional health.
Memories that establish rituals with your kids:
- Have family dinner and share highs and lows from the day
- Read together at bedtime
- Have a weekly dance party
- Play a game or do a puzzle
- Host a daily feelings check-in
Related: Help your kids establish emotional wellness routines with our free 7-Days of Living Centered Activities for Kids download!
Cultivating empathy and service with our kids is an essential part of making meaningful memories. Creating opportunities to serve others, volunteer, and give their time, energy and resources creates perspective and unlocks empathy. It also empowers our kids to understand the positive impact they can have on the world!
Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.
Memories to make serving others with your kids:
- Sponsor a family in need and shop together for toys, toiletries, clothes, and essentials
- Volunteer at a state park
- Write thank-you notes to front line workers
- Do yard work and house projects for a neighbor
- Write letters to your congressperson about an issue close to your kids’ hearts
“Pick up your toys.”
“Finish your dinner.”
“Get in the car.”
If we’re not careful, our communication with our kids can become one-sided. It takes an intentional effort to invite our kids into dialogue and open lanes of communication. However, we can do a few things that can help get your kids talking and lay the foundation for a safe space for conversation when it’s most needed.
Memories that Invite Dialogue:
- Ask your kids to advise on a problem in your world
- Share your experience with the “taboo” subjects of sex, failure, bully, etc. (Award-Winning Songwriter and Producer Nicolle Galyon shared how she shared her expertise with a bully with her seven-year-old daughter on this episode of the Living Centered Podcast!)
- Celebrate failures (Create a home where your kids know they can try new things, mess up, and still be loved! Billionaire Sara Blakely credits her dad’s daily celebration of failure to her success!)
- Ask your kids big questions that make them think
- Play “would you rather” with your kids
At Onsite, we believe that every rip makes room for repair. Many of us can’t remember a time our parents admitted they were wrong, let alone apologized. Creating space for repair when we mess up, models to our kids how to exist in relationship with others, overcome conflict, and exercise humility. Saying we’re sorry validates the pain we’ve caused and creates room for restoration.
Memories that repair rips with your kids
- Apologize in a meaningful way when you react out of heightened emotion
- Share about a time you didn’t show up how you wanted to
- Make it a habit of redoing, circling back in the moment
- Ask your kids to share a time you have hurt them
- Say sorry to your partner in front of your kids
Even if your kids are on their way out of the house, all-grown-up, or you feel like adverse life experiences have caused you to miss your chance to create these types of memories, we believe that it’s never too late to create meaningful memories. Start today!
The greatest gift you can give the people in your lives is a healthy you! When we get healthy, every relationship in our lives changes.
If you want to lead your family in emotional wellness, we invite you to check out our 30 Days of Living Centered digital course. With 30 days of reflections, videos, and practices, you can establish the routines and rhythms we believe are essential to living a life grounded in your priorities! As a bonus, we’ve also created 30 Days of Living Centered Activities For Kis that mirror the course content to bring the whole family along!
Save 20% with the code MEMORIES