Each Monday in my daughter’s first grade class, the teacher hands out a paper with, “A Snapshot of my Weekend”, written across the top. The children are supposed to write a few sentences about what they did over the weekend and draw a picture to go with it. I always look forward to going through her stack of papers each Friday to find that week’s treasure. I never coach her on what to write, because I enjoy taking a peek into her little mind.
I am often surprised at what stands out to her the most. Sometimes she writes about a big event, but usually she chooses to record a small moment with her family. In the past she has written about a game we played together, how I removed a splinter from her hand, or a craft she enjoyed making with our family. My personal favorite is her retelling of a time when her dad put so much hairspray in her hair, it stood up by itself.
As moms, we need reminders to proactively create and enjoy the small moments with our children. These times can replenish us and help us see the value in motherhood. I often fail to remember, however, that these same moments are quite defining for our children as well. Years from now they may not remember all those times you snuggled them in a chair with a good book, or raced with them in the backyard, but they will remember how they felt. They will remember that you loved them, and as a result they will know they can trust you.
One way to help children record some of their childhood experiences is by obtaining a journal for them. It could be something as simple as a spiral notebook. Then set aside a time each day, week, or month when they can draw or write about some of their experiences. Another way to see what events affect our children the most is by asking two simple questions near the end of the day. “What was the best thing that happened to you today?” and “What was the worst thing that happened to you today?” These questions are great for kids of any age. My kids love it when they have an opportunity at dinnertime or bedtime to share with me what had the greatest impact in their life that day.
QUESTION: What are some of your memorable childhood experiences?
CHALLENGE: Create a regular time and place where your children can record the memorable experiences of their lives.
Image from Flickr.com.