"The more children knew about their family's history, the stronger their sense of control over their lives, the higher their self-esteem and the more successfully they believed their families functioned."
"...the ones who knew more about their families proved to be more resilient, meaning they could moderate the effects of stress.
Why does knowing where your grandmother went to school help a child overcome something as minor as a skinned knee or as major as a terrorist attack?
'The answers have to do with a child's sense of being part of a larger family.' Dr Duke said."
"THE FAMILY STORIES THAT BIND US" : Bruce Feiler. Read the full article in last week's post.
I wanted to pick up and talk about this great quote again this week because I like Dr Duke's emphasis, that a child needs to have a sense "of being part of a larger family" and that this equips children for the toughest experiences of life. There are so many ways, as the article says, that a family can go about giving a child the secure feel of connection with siblings, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and beyond. Making family memories is one such way.
Here are 11 reasons which answer the question - WHAT IS THE POINT OF MAKING FAMILY MEMORIES?
1. they give opportunities to express love to each other
2. they bring the element of fun into the family
3. they bring the family together to experience something in common
4. they build a family identity
5. they encourage growth of connectivity between children and parents
6. they develop a sense of belonging
7. they foster a commitment to one another
8. they set-up habits for the future, including the want to come home and be with the family
9. they are times where you can talk about and hand on the things of life which are important to you
10. they create a strong awareness of security both within the family and in individuals
11. they provide experiences for children to build a stronger sense of self within their family
As for suggestions of how to make family memories, there's loads of ideas online to choose from. Just google "making family memories" to read of traditional as well as completely new ideas such as geocaching which my relatives in Australia love to do as a family memory maker.
My friend Glen, recently discussed the subject of making memories with some mums. Drawing their attention to everyday opportunities which can be made into memories, she gave these excellent points.
"Neurologically we remember things by association, for example, the smell, the sound, the emotion we felt. All these help us recall something.
For example, every time you have morning tea and read stories, you remember a tray set with a flower or candle, everyone was happy and calm, the smell of the coffee and muffins cooking, nothing was required of you, you got to cuddle up on the sofa together and just enjoy the dreamland of listening to the story. So whenever morning tea is mentioned the family recalls these good memory moments and you want to reproduce it." "...candles lit at table for mealtimes.... plates and cups of beauty to say we value the people there for this occasion, and the crafts people who created the cups, candleholder, meal. You have a story because things are not in isolation, they involve creative people, handcraft and labour. Creativity is what makes humans stand out from all other creatures."
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS ~ have a think about a sobering quote I came across from Dr Michele Borba - "Pretend it's twenty years in the future and you're at the family reunion. What will you and your family remember about this time in their lives?"