As I watch the falling snow, I can’t help but remember how much my father loved storms. Nature and the power of it fascinated him. I would stand by the window with him and watch lightning. We would stand on the porch together when the wind whipped. He always brought in a snowball from the first snowfall of the year. He would put it in our freezer and there it stayed until it was replaced the next winter by another first snowball of that year. When summer came, we would find the snowball and laugh at his insistence that it had to stay there. I may have laughed as a girl but I carried on that same tradition when my boys were young. During the first snow fall, someone had to bring in a snowball for my freezer. My father died when my children were very young. Every time they brought in a snowball, I reminded them that my father did this too. It is such a small thing but I loved that this little bit of my father was a part of their childhoods. Remembering this makes me consider the importance of family tradition and if, in the rush of our lives, we spend enough time creating great memories. We are, after all, the sum total of our memories.
We live in such a hurried world. As a working mom, I know that just getting all the tasks done at the end of the work & school day is sometimes all I can manage. We are constantly connected to the outside world when we finally do get home. Modern technology puts information at our fingertips and one another only a text or cell phone call away. Studies show that many people today do not value tradition as much as in past generations. It is so ironic because more than ever before, our children need to feel personal, social connection. They spend so much time running from one scheduled activity to the next and then to technology that common human needs and experiences seem to be a secondary priority. We need to make a conscious effort to take the time to attend to their memories. Tradition is what connects generations. We can do with our children what was done with us. We can create new traditions that our children may share with future generations. We need to make meaningful and lasting connections to people – past and present –a priority. Turn off the electronics at dinner or in the car. Try to spend one day per week, or even every other week, participating in purely fun activities together. Stick to a bedtime routine that includes reading or storytelling. Take time to notice the wonder in our world together – make that first snowball or try to catch the raindrops. Those are the moments and the memories that will help to form the adults that your children will become.
For more information about spending time with children, click on these titles: "Treasuring Time Off With The Kids" and "How To Play WITH Your Children - It's Harder Than It Sounds".
To read my recent article in "The Shriver Report" click on: "Stress in the Famly: Helping Our Children To Cope"
Read this blog for more articles. Ask your parenting & education questions and learn about early childhood workshops for parents & educators on my website - www.helpingkidsachieve.com
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