Holidays like Easter and Passover involve a lot of remembering and re-telling stories of events that happened a long time ago. Memories play such an important role in our lives — and this article in the Wall Street Journal says that our ability to draw on different kinds of memories predicts higher levels of well-being, purpose, and positive relationships later on.
The article points out that parents play the biggest role in helping children retain memories — as well as interpret those memories, so they can learn from past experiences. Mothers in particular are key to this process, because they tend to use a conversational style with children:
The key behavior by mothers is “deflecting” conversation back to the child—that is, tossing the ball back to the child repeatedly by asking, say, “We really had fun, didn’t we?” or, “Tell me more,” she says, based on findings published last year.
Studies cited in the article show that children whose parents encourage reminiscing and storytelling about daily events are better at coping and problem-solving and show fewer symptoms of depression by their preteens. Knowing that gives more meaning to the way B and I encourage sharing about our days at the dinner table, reminiscing about things we’ve done, and recalling memories we’ve made together as a family.
Do you have many early memories? (I have quite a few around the age of 4 — maybe a bit younger — but nothing prior to that.) If you’re a parent, do you tend do a lot of story-telling about events and reminiscing about the past?
Image: Zoe Saint-Paul
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