Becky Talks Memories, Emotion and Bonding
When I think about my childhood, a couple things immediately stick out to me — little things I’ve held onto over the years that mean a lot to me today.
One of those things is what my family called “Monday Treats.”
I can’t exactly remember when it started, but one Monday when my older sister and I were both in elementary school, my mom picked us up and decided, “Hey, we all made it through Monday! Let’s celebrate and get a treat.”
And so it became a tradition most Mondays that instead of going straight home, having some pretzels and fruit, and diving into homework, we would first go somewhere fun to get a delicious after school snack.
Sometimes it was Dairy Queen for a Blizzard, sometimes we got a Frosty at Wendy’s, or sometimes we went to this really great snow cone place that had a bazillion different flavors.
Another of my favorite memories is fishing with my grandpa. My grandparents had a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin, and we DROVE up there most summers to spend a week or two.
My grandpa was the person who taught me how to fish, which I can imagine took a lot of patience...He taught me how to put my own worm on my hook, how to cast the line, and even how to hold my fish to take it off the hook.
We spent a lot of time out on the lake on his little row boat, and most of that time was spent very quietly waiting for the fish to bite.
I mention these two anecdotes so you know this — memories are tied to emotion, and emotion leads to bonding.
In both of those cases, somebody who cared for me stepped outside of their routine and did something special for me, and those things made me feel loved. Even as I recall them as an adult, I feel warm, fuzzy feelings for Mom and Grandpa.
So if you want to increase the warm, fuzzy feelings between you and your child too, make some memories with them.
In our day and age, it seems like our calendars are SO full that we can go weeks or months at a time just checking off all our to-dos for the day and running about from this commitment to another.
And I get it. I feel pretty busy myself, but for the health of your relationship between you and your kids, blow off your plans sometimes, do something spontaneous, and take your kid fishing.
We all need it, but especially for kids with trauma. Feeling those feelings with their caregivers goes a LONG way in healing their brains and hearts.
Plus, it will make both of you feel better about your relationship and maybe even give you a little more energy when you have to return to those everyday tasks.