My sister-in-law is visiting this week and I am having a lovely time listening to she and my husband reminisce. It doesn’t matter that I’ve heard the stories before; it’s an integral part of their visit. They talk about the present, sure, but they also remember the past. It’s what makes their relationship special.
And now, as a grandmother, I know that part of my role will be to tell my grandchildren our family stories.
Family stories cement the memories and the roots of our background. Who I am is as much my family history as my childhood as my adult life.
What do you remember? Do you reminisce with your siblings or parents?
Do You Remember?
One of my earliest memories involves being stung by a bee. In my mind I recall standing watching a construction project when suddenly there was a pain on my arm. I saw the bee flee in one direction while I raced home to my Mom who I knew would look after me.
Every year at Christmas, pictures of previous celebrations come into my mind. They form a mosaic of my life and in some ways keep me grounded. I think it’s important.
There are other memories that seem harder to resurrect. And I think it has to do with reminders. When we tell stories about our past, the memory stays alive. When we stop talking about our past, the memories can fade.
Of course, we don’t remember everything. But the memories we do retain form our expectations of how life is. They are a consideration in our lifestyle choices and they help determine our values. For if we remember a time with fondness; we will look to re-create those times for our spouses, our children and ourselves.
Tell your children the stories. Look at old pictures and remember with them. When you are at the park, tell a story of yourself at the same age playing in a park.
Interestingly, at certain ages, when you start a story your children will roll their eyes and pretend not to listen. But they are paying attention. As long as you are not regaling them with hours of reminiscences they will like it.
Help your children remember by asking them to tell their stories. “Do you remember the day we went to the Aquarium last summer?” Then just listen and let them talk.
Childhood memories matter. Help you children stay in touch with their past and with your past and with the past of their grandparents.
Talk to your friends, your siblings, your parents and your other relatives and allow yourself to return to your roots and re-discover your heritage.
Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
I have always known that each child is a unique individual. I looked at my two who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a textbook example of different.
But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking. Just before they were born I was thinking about the two movies about Snow White and the Seven Dwarves and this also caused me to think about the differences of people who live together.
The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Difference: Raising Children with Different Temperaments.
Bring Kathy Lynn to your event.
Parenting Today is keen to speak as part of your professional development event, parenting workshop or workplace wellness support program. I offer keynotes and workshops, have written books and have ongoing newspaper columns, books, blogs and newsletters.
And, no matter what the actual topic, they all share a basic value that I call:
P — is a parenting plan
U — is unconditional love
R — is respect for your child as he is right now
E — is encouragement
These make up the framework of any resources that will come from Parenting Today. These four pillars are the essential ingredients for raising healthy children who will develop into capable young men and women.