When family comes the boys want to hear memories from childhood.
There’s something about stories that draw a family closer and you get to learn a little bit more about them and feel closer to them. I love hearing stories from my parents childhood. All the antics they got up to, the funny moments and interactions with their siblings. Hearing them reflect on situations and why they now chose a path based on what happened then.
Not everyone is a story family and not all childhood memories are good ones for everyone. Yet the memories from childhood impact who we are, how we are and underlie what we do as parents- whether that’s the same or the opposite. I’d like to think we have warm feelings and happy memories about aspects of our childhood that we can share with our children. We may have to dig around to find them.
Today we’re continuing our 31 day journey of growing family conversations. Our focus for these days, continues with our spouse and partner and the conversations we have together. While you were courting ( I love using that word) you may have talked about your childhood briefly or got a whiff of hostility or discomfort to leave the subject alone. However what happened in childhood has a way of influencing our parenting and knowing more may help understand in many situations.
This isn’t about digging up old sore memories instead we’re looking for stories, memories from childhood that make you smile to remember or laugh. These are memories from childhood you want to pass on and tell. They make you feel good or others laugh.
Share these with your spouse. This is a potentially a difficult and emotional area for one or both of you. So although you tread carefully many will be tempted to skip on over. You’ll be missing out. I encourage you to find a way with small tentative steps and lots of sharing from your end and allowing things time to take shape.
When to talk about memories from childhood
We’ve talked about memories from childhood on long car journeys to while away the time or keep one of us awake. We’ve used it as a starter at family dinner with family. Another way might be while you’re doing side by side activity like kitchen clean up. It didn’t work too well at a date for us. I’ve also found the more stories you tell the easy it is and the more memories come for both of you.
To keep you on track here are some broad areas to mine for memories from childhood.
- school life ( elementary)
- school life ( high school)
- experiences at clubs and after school programs
- what you remember for regular family traditions ( Easter, Christmas, birthdays etc)
- Family holidays and group outings with scouts, church and summer camps
- What you did when you were bored
- school holidays and playing with friends
- Time with family members like grandparents, aunts, cousins
- Time spent or activities you did with your parents
- Time spent with other significant carers
This can be quite a meaty topic. Be gentle with yourself.
When my parents visit the boys are always keen to find out about their tales and memories from childhood. Getting an insight into our parents childhood reveals so much about who they are. The same with your spouse.
Conversations: take a broad area of your childhood that gives you the most memories and recall a story or two with your spouse. Check in with siblings or parents to add or help. Add memory type questions to your conversation- what’s your favourite childhood memory from……? Tell parents and other childhood memories you know as part of your family conversation you’ve read or heard. Share stories. Ask for a story.
Come back and share your experiences,and stories .
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