In a previous blog, I mentioned the importance of making good memories for children, so I’d like to tell you about one of the workshops we did as part of our InterACT parenting work. Hopefully, we’ll be running more workshops in future, and this will give you a little taster of some of the things we might do. Whether or not you’re able to join us, I hope you’ll find the information here helpful.

We started by sharing some fun memories of childhood experiences. We noticed how similar some of those experience would still be for children in today’s world – and how different would be others!

However, our focus was the significance of our memories in making us the people that we are today, so we tried to recall events with emotional impact. We thought back to times when we had felt excluded – it could have been from anything. For example, one of the most common memories was being made to wait until last when sports teams were being picked. We reflected on how those experiences made us feel. We threw in different words –  isolated, different, stupid.

We then thought of times when we had felt completely included and tried to remember what had happened to make us feel involved. The main answer: Someone had taken the time to help us feel needed & important.

We were interested in everyone’s stories. The exercise showed us how we all have similar reactions to being included and excluded and how our memories have affected our feelings. Often, there is a  long-term effect, which can be positive or negative.

Perhaps you could tap into some memories yourself – try and recall a time when you felt excluded.

And now included.

I wonder if you had the same sort of feelings as the parents who attended our workshop? Perhaps you still have those feelings.

This was a useful exercise in developing empathy. Actively thinking of things from a child’s point of view and putting ourselves in their position will not only help us in our relationship with them but also support our children in their development. It was also useful in reminding us of the importance of building a store of good memories for our children.

How about making a memory box with your child? It can be a great way to “remember as you make”, while creating something that you will be able to look at in future.

You will need:

Shoe box & brown paper to cover

Choice of glitter, stickers, paint, felt tips, feathers, felt shapes to decorate

Glue and scissors

Photos, letters, certificates – anything that creates good memories – to put inside your box