by Belinda Bray
Director of Wellbeing
In 2014, we took a family trip. It wasn’t just any trip. It was a three month world tour. My husband had qualified for the Boston Marathon and we planned our trip around that. We started in the US, then went over the UK then train journeyed through Europe before coming home. It really was a trip of a lifetime.
There is not a week that goes by when we don’t talk about this trip as a family. Whether it is looking through facebook memories, remembering places we went, funny things that happened and all the amazing food we were able to eat.
I love it. I love that my children have eaten real Italian pizza, that they say that the best hot chips on the planet can be found in the Markethall in Rotterdam, they have climbed the Eiffel Tower, they have slept in the basement of a castle…
We try to build lots of memorable moments for our kids. We have never done another trip of such epic proportions since, but we have learnt lots of ways to build memories for our kids that are free or nearly free. I think it is one thing that makes our family work. We love to plan and we love to HAVE adventures – both big and small.
Why am I so into making memories? Firstly, we just really love hanging out with our kids and doing fun things. But, more than that, studies have shown time and time again that children with lots of positive experiences are happier and healthier adults. They have more compassion for others, their hippocampus is bigger and I could go on on about how good it is for our brains to do fun and challenging things. Shared positive memories are also the foundation of healthy and happy families. And this is really important to us.
Think about your childhood… what are the things you remember? Trips to the beach. Ice-cream dripping down your arms on a hot afternoon. Slip and slides. Picnics. Camping Trips. Your dad’s funny dancing in his slippers. The special meal only your mum can make. Christmas morning. All these things build who we are and make us better people. These things are building blocks for who we become as adults.
How do we create lasting family memories?
We had a bit of a family meeting to talk about this topic. From this conversation, I have come up with 5 ways to build family memories. I thought it would be fun to talk about these things…
- “What did you like doing today?” – a question to ask every day – inspires gratefulness
- Doing stuff together – board games, climbing mountains, bike rides etc
- Include the children in planning both the every day and the adventures
- Having Family Rituals – Christmas morning, birthday presents in bed, pizza and movie nights
- Making special occasions out of small things – candles, set the table, music, smores by the fire
Thanks for coming in again today Michael. It has been so fun to get to do this with you.
- Do you actively try to build family memories?
- Are you overdue to do plan something?
- Do you have family rituals?
I want to challenge you to take one idea we talked about today and implement it THIS week. And, if you do, we would love to hear about it! My hope is that this podcast inspires you to intentionally choose to be More Than Okay. I hope that you build some memories and deeper relationships with your children in the process.
Thanks for listening and I look forward to sharing more stories, advice and strategies for being More than Okay.