With the increase in social media over the past few years, I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with many former students. As we text and message each other, usually the dialogue from the former students turns to, “I remember when we…” or “I still have the…” to “I never forgot when you told me that I could…” In our hurried lives I think we’ve come to underestimate the importance and power of traditions and special events that create memories. Over the past few years I’ve come to more fully understand the sustaining value of childhood memories. The teachers and staff at Bayside work to establish environments where children have the opportunity to create memories that will sustain them for the rest of their lives.
As a family, how do you “hang on” to special events, routines and traditions? What roadblocks prevent you from establishing traditions? I would encourage you to examine and share significant memories and traditions from your own childhood with your family. What can be continued?
I don’t know that I can over emphasize the importance of creating traditions and memories with your children. I once heard a child development expert ask: “What will sustain us in our old age? It is our memories! Be sure to create long lasting one with the children in your classrooms and in your families.”
Over the past few years I’ve watched my uncle and aunt slowly progress with Alzheimer’s, I’ve seen first hand how true that has been for them. While they couldn’t remember where they lived or even what they had for breakfast that day, they recalled with great fondness and accuracy experiences from their childhood with family and friends. Until my uncle’s recent death, he couldn’t even remember how to get dressed on most days...but he could remember the crazy antics in school and sledding with his brother!
The next two months provide several holidays that can be especially fun and full of music, stories and lots of great books to read together and share. It is times like these that music, story-telling and reading books can be a large part of memory-making.
Passing down family traditions helps our kids get to know us and learn about the memories we have as we grew up. Sharing family songs and stories help teach our children about the things we enjoy doing and our family’s particular beliefs, values, and way of doing things. When we are doing something like cooking, shopping, decorating our homes, singing songs or making something special, our children love being included. This feeling of companionship and family closeness helps build and create memories for our children that one day we hope they will share with families of their own. Words to a favorite song of mine say: May the memories wrap their arms around you, May your childhood take you by the hand, And may what you remember find healing when it hurts, So the memories will protect you when they can. Wishing you lots of memories with those you love!