There should be nothing more important than creating memories with your family. Positive memories increase the bonds between you and help us through the difficult trials that life can throw in our path. Those of us that can remember childhood fondly, with happy memories to share, tend to be healthier and in better shape mentally and physically.
Children who enjoy happy experiences may learn more easily, and have better memories and less stress. Teenagers who continue to enjoy life with the family are much less likely to experience depression. In short, creating positive memories with your family builds resilience in us that helps us succeed more in life.
While all this science is astounding, in reality, we want to create memories because it is fun. We want an opportunity to write stories of family life that liven up Christmas meals and birthday celebrations long into the future. Here are some tips and tricks to help you capture those memories with your family.
Human beings are predisposed to see the negatives. Our brains are wired for survival, and being happy does not keep you alive in the wilds of our prehistoric past. Although we are no longer at threat from large prey, we tend to find it hard to switch off this threat mechanism. However, to capture happy memories when they are happening, you must make a conscious effort to see the wonderful and the amazing.
Consequently, as a parent, you need to do all you can to spot the good in your children. And, children, as you grow up, you need to look for what your parents did give you rather than what they could not.
As we grow up, we lose some of the wonders of creativity. We don’t allow ourselves to be fanciful or to get lost in the make-believe. But as children, we adored it. Therefore, to capture happy memories, you need to embrace play and fun. It is not something you are just doing for the kids either. If you let your imagination rip and abandon yourself to joy, you will find your stress levels reduce immediately. Go on… build that fort in the living room and pretend you are holding off the raging elves from the neighbour’s house.
Sharing a sporting interest is one of the most remarkable ways to build positive memories. Imagine how many people recount a day on the football terraces or an afternoon at the river fishing with a parent. These are rare moments of a shared passion that can seek to bond you together. It doesn’t have to be a serious hobby… mini-golf was the go-to Sunday afternoon competition in our household. Mum killed it at the windmill!
Families all have a joke that only they understand and can start a giggling fit at a single mention. Treasure these shared funnies, as they are a powerful bonding agent. You might even want to think about buying some token that represents this joke, as a reminder of your love for each other.
If you have a garden, what better way to cement your memories than to work together to build it? Imagine growing your food together, harvesting and then cooking together. It is how people have bonded through time.
Since we have all had cameras on our phones, we have stopped giving a special place for the photographs of our special moments. The memories live in the cloud but not on our walls or in photograph frames or even albums. Why not capture your family in a professional photoshoot and get images that will continuously jog positive memories? You could always buy yourself a memory book off one of the many online sites but getting a professional to do the work makes it extra special.
It is a long-forgotten phrase that it takes a village to bring up a child. The bank of memories that can be created could be even bigger with the help of your extended family. While the nucleus of those in our home is so important to use, so should our aunties and uncles, grandparents, cousins and more. Bring them into the story of your lives together and build even stronger memories.