When you think of creating memories for your kids your mind quickly thinks of next great vacation or an expensive toy to be bought. Like anything in life, the excitement wears out after a few days or weeks and your kids are looking forward to the next big thing.
At a job interview, a lady was asked about any childhood memories she could remember before her tenth birthday. To her surprise she could not think of anything worth remembering to say. She said the panelists quickly moved on to the next interview question when they didn’t hear from her.
When she shared this with me, I began to challenge myself to do something different for my kids. It’s ok to give them a good education, a summer holiday overseas, nice clothes and shoes but they won’t remember any of that when they grow up. We want to secure their future at all cost but we deny them memories with us in the present.
Memories don’t have to entail any grandiose plans. It could be as simple as family traditions everyone can look forward to and have fun together. There’s a lady whose kids always look forward to pizza night each Friday. She orders their favorite pizza with juice, she picks a movie and everyone’s having fun for about an hour and that’s it.
Many who live in the Lekki area have never been to any beach. The pounding waves are always crashing, the cool sea breeze never stops blowing but we are too busy to plan a picnic with our families. We think it won’t bring us much fun or the kids will be bored but we’ve never tried it.
Creating memories is a deliberate effort. We say there’s no time to slow down, we aren’t making any effort to create the time and our kids are growing up real quickly. It will soon be late to do a few things with your kids since it will no longer appeal to them.
You can’t create memories for your kids if you’re not available to spend quality time with them. Unfortunately your nannies and drivers are inadequate for the task. If all you can do is read a bedtime story, kiss and hug your daughter each night when you get back from work and before she drifts off to dreamland, you’ve succeeded in creating memories for her that would last a lifetime.
It’s easy to drop your kids at school, leave them with a babysitter till you get back from work and just spend a few minutes with them each evening. During the weekend, you’re equally busy, catching up on your sleep, attending weddings and spending the rest of the time in the salon.
When your kids grow up, they won’t remember how much fees were paid, how many clothes and shoes you bought. They may only remember how noisy their birthday parties were as you tried to make them have fun at all cost. If you’ve not created memories for them, all they’ll remember is how busy you were, not spending quality time with them and all the excuses you gave as you handed them over from person to another.
It’s often said you can’t give what you don’t have but you can create memories for your kids even if your parents didn’t.
Creating memories will cost you some time, how can you work around your schedule to do something different with your kids every day, weekly or even once a month?