A child’s first memories could have a big impact on them. Happy memories would make them feel nostalgic, while bad memories could cause trauma. As such, parents must strengthen a child’s first memories.
A child’s recollection of memories is a wonderful thing to observe. Some elders may brush off small events and say that children would not remember them. But, the tricky thing about a child’s brain is that you would not guess which sticks or not.
Another thing worth noting about how a child recalls an event is the feeling that it evokes from them. For adults, it is more of the time and place and other details such as the food or activities they had. Thus, it is important to fill a child’s life with happy moments rather than traumatic ones. Here are some of the most common first childhood memories.
First Trip to the Dentist
A trip to the dentist could be traumatic to a child because they could associate it with pain. The best way to build a happy memory of this momentous event is to go to a dentist for the first time for a routine checkup. Let the child see the dental clinic as a place to help them strengthen their teeth. Do not bring your child to the dentist for the first time for a major procedure. In doing so, they would always link the place to discomfort.
A friendly children’s dentist could also make your child feel comfortable. They could explain to your child the basic dental procedures in a way that your child would grasp. There is one simple method of describing a dental visit in a positive way. You could say that a friendly adult would like to check your child’s smile and count their teeth.
It is also advisable not to hop clinics. Choose one that you trust would take care of your child. Having a familiar face and place could help lessen a child’s fear. It would be different if they see different places or new faces every time.
Drop-off at School
Some children only have a vague recollection of their first day of school. But what they recall most are the times when their parents have to drop them off at school. This moment is important to them because they have to separate from what is familiar to them. Many children develop separation anxiety when a parent makes drop-off time quick.
To help them form a positive memory from this, you can develop a ritual during drop-off time. It may be a hug, a kiss, a squeeze on the shoulder, or some words of affirmation. You could also combine some of these strategies. Having a ritual brings them a sense of security while they are away from you.
Children below 3 or 4 may not have a solid recollection of a party given to them. But, it is a different thing when they reach their preschool age. Birthday parties become one of their favorite memories. It is not much about throwing a grand party.
Most children love to look back on the cake-blowing moment. They love the idea when people gather to sing them the Happy Birthday song. What they remember are not the gifts or the decorations, but the feeling of being special. They also value the shared experiences with their friends and their family. What they recall are lots of laughter and playtime and a general positive experience.
There is a steady rise in the interest to travel. Because of this, parents now take their infants and toddlers on trips. But, this young age may not remember many details from these vacations.
It is a different thing when a child reaches the ages of 5 to 7. A child of this age would have in their memory banks some happy recollections of the sand and beach. They would also remember the tourist spots that they have visited.
Children also get something more meaningful from vacations. They learn how to alter their routines and try new things. They also become more confident to be in a strange place with unfamiliar people.
Seeing a child’s face light up during Christmas morning is a sight to behold. Family holidays are among a child’s favorite memories. To strengthen this childhood memory, parents should make traditions. Some examples are exchanging gifts, singing and dancing, or hunting for Easter eggs.
Family holidays and traditions give the child a sense of continuity and belongingness. When they grow up, they can even practice some traditions they did as a child.
Parents should not underestimate the effect of childhood memories. They must strive to give their child happy moments to remember. They must also help their kids process the emotions and details of each memory for it to be more meaningful.