I am sharing with you today 10 things that I will never forget.
I come from a childhood packed with millions of sweet memories surrounded by family, friends, and people that understood what love is.
It is amazing to me that most things I remember from my childhood make me smile and happy, considering that we had really little money, a lot of empty stomachs and much reason to pray for help.
I had a wonderful childhood not because of the things we had but because we had each other. This post is about creating sweet moments that our children will always remember.
1. READ TO THEM
It is a beautiful thing to read with a child but there is a magic when you read to a child. Books create a world where everyone that is reading becomes a part of it. No matter how old a child is, read to him, read to her, read to them, read with them. Let’s give our children the gift to grow up saying… My parents always read to me.
2. LISTEN TO THEM
In a busy crazy world it is so easy to say wait a second. The reality is that the wait is never a second, it is not a minute, sometimes the waiting moment is so long that it never comes. Sometimes by the time we are ready to listen, our children have forgotten what they wanted to say. I have noticed that children most of the time instead of trying to convey a thought just want to share a moment. For them what they have to say is not as near as important as for you and I making them a priority. The key to listen is to STOP. Instead of telling our children “wait a second”, we should tell whatever we are doing “ wait a second”. The TV won’t get hurt, the computer won’t forget, Facebook won’t miss you or me, but OUR CHILDREN WILL. Let’s give our children the gift to grow up saying… My parents always listened to what I had to say.
3. HUG THEM
The thing is that no matter how small or big we are sometimes we all need a hug. Every child is different, some of them will welcome a big hug, some of them have more than enough with a little one. The important part is not to miss the times when affection is needed. Now that one of my kiddos is approaching the teen years I offer hugs in a different way. Instead of saying, 'Do you need a hug?', I say, 'I need a hug'. Hugs are a symbol not just of love but of reassurance, happiness and protection. Let’s give our children the gift to grow up saying… My parents always knew when I needed a hug.
4. HAVE FAMILY TRADITIONS!
One of our family favorite traditions is Movie Night. Most of the time we have them on Friday. We get to make popcorn, eat nothing healthy and everyone gets to watch a movie together as a family. It is more than a movie really. This is a time of tradition building, we get to fight over the popcorn, we get to laugh at someone’s fart, we get to share every corner of our bed and blankets, we get to be a family when for 2 hours we don’t share just the same space, but the same memory. Let’s give our children the gift of growing up saying… In my family we always did this and that!
5. SHARE A MEAL!
This is something I treasure from my life living back at home. I don’t recall one time when I didn’t eat dinner with my parents. Even after it was just my mom and me I don’t recall a time when I didn’t have dinner with her. If I tell you the truth I didn’t know one kid that didn’t have dinner with their family. I never realized how big of a blessing this was in my life until I moved to the United States. Time goes so fast here, cooking is a luxury to many of us because the lack of time. Sitting around a table sometimes seems like a huge challenge because of how busy we are and different schedules. As I look at it it doesn’t matter if our children are eating hot dogs, cold cereal or a delicious homemade roast. The best treat a child will have is the memory of sharing a meal. For some may be breakfast, for some lunch or dinner. This is the perfect time to talk, plan, rest, eat, work together and clean up together. Let’s give our children the gift of growing up saying… In my family we ate together!
6. YOU ARE MY FAVOURITE!
I always knew I was my mom’s favorite 10 year old, 15 year old, and right now I know I am her favorite 37 year old. We should not have a favorite son or daughter among our children, but I can tell you that I certainly have a favorite 9 year old boy and I am honored to call him my son. I have a favorite 12 year old, a favorite 10 year old, and a favorite 4 year old, and I am honored to call them my daughters. I think it is super important for every child to feel special in an individual way.
Let’s give our children the gift of growing up saying… In my family we were our parent’s favorites!
Again every child is different. Their accomplishments will be different. Some of them at age 6 may read better than another one at age 9. Some of them will be great in sports while some other seems to have allergies to a ball. Some of them will be honor students while some other ones may need additional tutoring. However, every child shares a common quality, they all need to feel successful, no matter how different the accomplishment, the celebration should be equal. Let’s give our children the gift of growing up saying… My parent believed in me, they were my biggest fans, they always told me how proud they were of me.
Children have naturally playful souls. Providing an environment where family plays and have fun together is not an option, for us it is a must. Find something that your family will enjoy. Board games, hiking, fishing, camping, playing sports, biking, reading, watching a movie, any activity that provides a quality family fun time will unite our children while making memories that they will never forget. Let’s give our children the gift of growing up saying… In my family we spent time together, we had fun together, we played together.
Yes… I’ve been there and I’ve done that! Our children lives are made of little moments. Those moments many times are highlighted by events… Oh crap! School assemblies, birthdays, rehearsals, sport competitions, parent teacher conferences. Those moments are special to them mostly because they feel and believe that they are special to us. When we remember those moments, when we show up, when we take with pride those pictures, and wave with excitement, when our children see that we remember, they seem to never forget. Let’s give our children the gift of growing up saying… My parents were always there for me.
10. LOVE THEM!
I could be writing until tomorrow but I think I’m going to end with this simple word: LOVE. My grandpa told me once that love is made of love. He was a very wise man. Now that I have kind of grown up I know what he meant. We cannot say we love someone and then ignore them. We cannot say that we love someone and then neglect them. When we love we say it. When we love we show it. When we love we build up those around us, we don’t destroy them. When we love we offer guidance and positive reassurance instead of cruel criticism and fake devotion. When we love a child, we build their character, we wish and hope for the best. We make them feel unique, we inspire them to discover their infinite potential, we guide them, we teach them and we learn from them. We thank them, we pray for them, because LOVE is made of LOVE.
Memories are not free, however they don’t cost money but time and that is what makes them so valuable. We can build them around the most simple moments. It is for us to make each moment count, no matter our circumstances, our past, or how much or how little we have, we can create a place called home when every child is entitled to a beautiful childhood.
So let’s imagine a moment and create a memory!