When the daily grind of work and other responsibilities seem to crowd out everything else and leave you short on time and energy, intentionally ‘making memories’ can amplify even the smallest effort - creating a sense of shared heritage among your family members. Here are some simple yet impactful ways to get started this holiday season.
If you’re a parent, there are many simple things you can do to build memories and enhance special occasions with your child. It is easy to lose sight of life’s little pleasures when you’re running around all the time. Take the time to notice those pleasures, dwell on them, bring them into focus, and you’ll find that you’ve already taken a significant step in the direction of cementing meaningful, lifelong relationships with your children.
Here are some memory builders you can try as a family:
1. Give the gift of time.
- Schedule one-on-one time with each of your children and consider these "dates" as important as any other commitment on your calendar.
- If you’re running errands, take one of the kids along and talk about what he finds interesting – anything from a favourite game or book to a sport or a particularly intriguing subject at school.
- If possible, bring your child to work with you, even if it’s just once. This can be an important, impacting and extremely effective way of sharing this part of your life with your child.
2. Give the gift of words.
- An expectant mother may write letters to her soon-to-be born child, and share it with him/her later in life.
- Letters can also be written for special occasions, such as a graduation from school, birthdays, first day of school, or even a first date for an older child.
- Letters can be written to celebrate a success or to offer consolation after a disappointment.
- As your children grow up, letters can be beautiful gifts at occasions such as engagements, weddings, births and special achievements.
Find more heartwarming ideas to make Christmas memories with your family on the next page.
3. Put caring notes in your children’s lunch boxes or on their pillows.
Find creative ways to tell them how much they mean to you.
4. Plan significant family vacations.
For instance, if your family loves history, go on a holiday to trace your family roots. If you’re big art fans, you might tour various museums. A sporting or hiking excursion is a great way to create new bonds and strengthen family ties. These bonding experiences can be tailored to fit your budget and availability –setting up a tent and camping out at the beach can also be an exciting experience for the whole family!
5. Make school holidays unique.
...and a time for the family to unwind, relax and enjoy time with each other. Starting new family traditions is one great way to achieve this. Putting up a Christmas tree, baking holiday treats or volunteering as a family are some ideas to consider.
While this list is not exhaustive by any means, use these ideas to jumpstart your own creative juices – creating unique and memorable moments that your children will cherish and perhaps carry on in their own families in years to come!
Used with permission from Focus on the Family Singapore. For more information on family life resources and workshops, visit www.family.org.sg.
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