We all want to be the best parents we can be. We want our kids to be happy and healthy and have all the opportunities we didn’t have growing up. But sometimes, it’s hard to know exactly what that means.
One of the most important things that you can do for your children is to give them positive memories to look back on. It’s not about taking them on expensive vacations or buying the latest toys; it’s about creating happy moments and experiences they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the “what” and the “how” of creating memories with our kids. However, the things we think they’re bound to remember aren’t necessarily what means the most to them.
Let me break it down.
A few weeks ago, I saw a meme that read, “No one remembers the time you all played video games.” It depicted a father and son working on a motorcycle together. And while the sentiment behind it was good – that we should be doing more active things with our kids instead of passively sitting in front of a screen – I think it missed the mark.
I asked my son if he remembered playing video games with me, and he talked my ear off for 20 minutes about all the different games we’ve played together and how much fun he had.
It turns out it’s not what we do with our kids that they remember. It’s that we were there.
When we share something our kids enjoy – whether it’s video games, Legos, princesses, or motorcycles – we’re showing them that their interests are important to us. We’re also creating opportunities to tell them things we always want to but never see at the right time.
For instance, my oldest asked me if I liked playing Minecraft. I was able to use that as a chance to tell him, “No, but I like playing with you.” He might not get it now, but it’s something I want him to understand later.
Why is this?
Well, there’s some interesting psychology behind it, actually.
You see, when we create positive memories with our children, we’re also building their self-esteem. We’re teaching them that they’re valuable and that their interests are worth our time. In turn, they learn to value themselves and their own interests. They learn to see themselves as capable and interesting people.
The bottom line is: kids remember your relationship with them far more than they cherish the things you used to do. Of course, interests change and grow over time, but the bond you create with your children will last a lifetime. So, don’t sweat the small stuff.
This is a simple concept, but it profoundly impacts your children’s lives. The next time you’re looking for ways to connect with your kids, don’t worry about what you’re doing. Just focus on enjoying your time together and fully engaging in the moment. This gesture shows your attentive interest that they’ll cherish forever.
So, find the thing that your kids are into and be in that with them. You don’t have to spend a fortune or think of something new and crazy to do every weekend. More often than not, you just have to spend time together.
Now, if the thing that’s captured your kids’ attention for the moment just happens to be video games, Fortnite is fun. Or, if you’re looking for something more family-friendly, Ultimate Chicken Horse is a laugh and a half.
Dr. Matt Chalmers
Disclaimer: This content is for informational purposes only. Before taking any action based on this information you should first consult with your physician or health care provider. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions regarding a medical condition, your health or wellness.