Parents are memory-makers!

Memories are made during the Christmas season… these are potentially good times for families!

I believe one of the best gifts we can give our children is positive memories. When they hit the age of questioning their identity, good memories serve as a historical reminder of the foundation of family.

What are you doing to create and solidify memories this week? This coming year? How about capturing some of the highlights from last year?

If you are a parent, you are a memory-maker!

It’s impossible to protect your children from all negative experiences and bad memories. Your kids will experience pain… but, positive memories will soften and minimize some of the pain.

This week, my kids (ages 24, 21, & 17) recounted some of the memories they have of different Christmas seasons and I wish I would have video taped them describing their experiences. Each one spoke with such joy and favor about their memories. I see their sense of personal security and family foundation that are a big part of their make-up. I watch in their choices and hear in their voices that the memories we tried to create have paid off. I think Cathy and I could have done a better job, but I’m grateful that my kids have such great memories.

What about you? Do you have intentional plans to create and capture memories? If not, it’s too easy to allow time to slip away.

Question: What are you doing that’s working that others can learn from? Please share it here.

[Are you getting Doug’s daily blog in your email inbox?] If not, it’s real easy–go here.

  • Adam McLane

    This is total learned behavior for me. My parents loved us desperately, but did little to create stability/tradition/memories. I’ve got tons of great memories of growing up… but few were intentional.

    What am I doing to create memories around the holidays?

    – We’ve created traditions. Being so far from family has meant the holidays are almost empty of family obligation… so we do stuff like sunset bonfires at the beach, adopted silly traditions from other cultures… our favorite is the Christmas cracker. (UK)

    – We started giving our kids experiences instead of big presents. Tomorrow, at the buttcrack of dawn, I’m taking my 9 year old out on the ocean on a fishing charter. I could care less what we catch… it’s all about memories.

    – Spontaneity. Since we keep an open schedule over Christmas break, we kick it freestyle a lot. Last week I posted signs all over the house about a Monopoly Tournament, complete with a prize. We talked smack for a day before sitting down for 3 hours and battling it out. (I “lost.”) This Christmas the weather was great and we saw on Twitter that the SD Zoo was going to have snow at sundown…. so we just piled in the van and went. Stuff like that involved zero planning and zero dollars (we’re members) but wouldn’t have happened without wanting to do unexpected stuff.

    OK, that’s what I got . Hope others share… cos I’ve got 2 more weeks of break before school starts again!

    • dougfields

      I love the Monopoly-Smack-Talking-Tournament! I don’t know your kids Adam, but what I can tell from your blog and Tweets… you’re a good dad. As you know, that’s waaaayyyy more important than being a good blogger or youth cartel mogul. Sounds like you’re making great memories!

  • lisa C

    Great post. We do things that we enjoy doing together…playing games, skiing is a big one for us. We will talk about our ski trips years after we go on one. You are right! Positive memories help to bind us together. Thank you for this great post.

    • dougfields

      This week we’re all about playing games… usually the games we got for Christmas are played heavily this week.

  • John Finkelde

    It’s so good watching our (married) kids now creating family memories all of their own

    • dougfields

      I can only imagine! I’m sure they had good models John.

  • Aaron Helman

    It’s New Year’s Eve and that means that myself, my wife, and our eleven-year-old will be having an all night game marathon. So much better than watching Ryan Seacrest and subpar lip-syncing.