Make Memories that Last a Lifetime6 min read
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One aspect of living intentionally is to be able to make memories with our kiddos that will last a lifetime.
These moments can be as simple as conversations that happen in the car, or maybe a short trip to the zoo. More often than not, big events generally create lasting memories – say a wedding, the birth of a child, graduation, or a vacation.
The key is to make these moments that last so that our children can hold onto the memories forever.
How to Plan for Memorable Moments
As a general rule, some memories are created, and some just happen naturally. When you have an opportunity to prepare for moments that could create lasting memories, consider the following:
Think Ahead and Limit Meltdowns
Consider the timing of events and what triggers crabbiness for everyone in your family (including for yourself). Make sure to keep a good supply of healthy food on hand to keep everyone at their best. Adjust sleep/nap schedules if necessary to work around the needs of your kiddos.
Be Ready for Anything
In your process of thinking ahead, also consider what may come up unexpectedly and attempt to be ready for it.
For example, if your event or activity is outside, bring a blanket and rain jackets or an umbrella in case of inclement weather. If you have young kids, a change of clothes can never hurt. Go with the Flow
Go with the Flow
Don’t try too hard to script the entire experience in your mind; you will risk setting yourself up for disappointment.
If you are someone who tends to react, over react, or blow up when things don’t go as planned (yes, I’m raising my own hand here), spend some time preparing for how you are going to respond when things don’t go as you had hoped.
Set yourself up to have fun and be completely present. Do your best to take care of any responsibilities you have well in advance, so they are not nagging at you.
If you have planned some time with just you and your husband, deal with any mommy guilt you may have up front and make sure not to carry it with you.
When spending time with your children, be involved with what they are doing rather than just watching from the sidelines.
Also be sure to stay off your phone when making memories with your family. Leave it in your purse or in the car and turn the volume to silent. This will ensure that you are not distracted by what is going on elsewhere and be completely present in the moment.
Prepare Your Kids
Make sure your children know what to expect and what is expected of them. Simply walking through with them how they are supposed to behave can make a big difference and prevent many of the possible issues that could come up.
Get Them Excited
Our kids love to countdown to any special event. This is always fun to build anticipation when something exciting is coming up.
You can also plan the time leading up to a special event with related activities, projects, or gifts. Get creative here! Even if you have a surprise planned for your children, you could do this without letting them in on exactly what was coming.
I love traditions. Not only are they a great way to establish lifelong memories for your children, but they are also easy to incorporate into your life compared to activities that only happen once. Think about it – once a tradition is established, it takes much less effort in the future. It is almost like a habit in this sense.
Beyond the ease of planning, everyone knows what to expect, which can make the anticipation lots of fun.
Write it Down
Once a memory has passed, write it down. Write about it in your personal journal, or try keeping a perpetual journal for your family. A perpetual journal can be something as simple as a stack of note cards – one side for each day of the year. Write the day at the top and then write the year on the line along with a brief description of the memory. These are great to be reminded each year in the future what happened on that day.
Bring a Camera
I’m sure that some of you are thinking that you have a camera because you have your phone with you. But I’m talking a real camera here. Not only does it help prevent distractions with calls or messages coming in, but it also sets an excellent standard for your children.
Look to the Future
Keep an eye out for events and happenings that are coming far in advance. This will give you the opportunity to scout out the best options or deals for your family. This also gives you a chance to prepare yourself and your responsibilities for whatever is coming up with plenty of time to spare.
Encouraging Memories to Occur Organically
Many unforgettable memories happen unexpectedly, and often, these are some of the best. There are also some hard memories that come from unexpected moments. Although these may not be welcomed, they happen all the same.
At the time of a tragedy, it may not seem like a moment to create a lasting memory, but remember that these are things that stay etched in our mind forever no matter what.
If you have margin in your life, this will give you the ability to allow the small memorable moments to happen. You won’t have to worry about doing this or that because you have available time in your day and your week to make up for what was not completed.
Don’t set such strict boundaries in your life that you are not able to take advantage of moments that present themselves. This can be in simple things like a trip to the park. If you notice your kids playing exceptionally well together, stay for an extra twenty minutes, or an hour. Let them build those bonds of relationship and memories that will stay with them forever.
Have the Ability to Be Present
Do your best to take the time to just be there for the people in your life. Limit the stress in your life overall. This way, you can focus on the moment, and not other things that may be worrying you. As mentioned above, leave your phone out of the picture. Develop the habit of good phone etiquette and leave it behind (in the car, in your purse, at home, etc.).
Look for Moments
Always be aware of what is going on in your family. Observe the relationships and behaviors that take place. Look for small moments to do something special that could create a memory that will last a lifetime.
Do you have a memorable moment that happened recently in your family? What will you do to create more in the future?
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