Memories formed during childhood have a profound effect on you during your entire life. There is much debate as to when childhood memories first start to form and remain ‘memorable’. However there is no doubt, that if these memories are happy ones, then your child has a much better chance of having a well-adjusted life.
When childhood memories are formed
We experience thousands of things in our early years, but only some of these are memorable. Some might be our ‘firsts’ in life, like the first time you all went on holiday together or your first day at school. Others might be more significant. Many leading experts say that memories don’t form until about the age of three, but others argue that while children may not remember the exact event, they may retain the feeling of the experience. According to a Professor of Psychology, childhood memories can be divided up into two types:
- Explicit Memories, which are recalled consciously and are usually associated with an exact event, time and place.
- Implicit Memories, which are not specific events, but more of an unconscious, emotional recollection.
The reason children can’t vividly recall specific events until the age of about 7 years old is that the majority of children’s brains are still developing, and it is only by the age of seven that their memories become similar to adults and are able to recall exact details and events. The important thing to realise is that this is not important. Don’t judge a holiday or special event by whether your children will remember it. If your children enjoy themselves and have a good time, it will set an expectation that the world is nice place and that people are kind and good – which is a strong, positive foundation for the years to come.
Making family memories
As a parent, you are in a fortunate position to be able to introduce your child to the world – and all the amazing experiences, tastes and moments that it holds. Here are some positive childhood memories you can all make together:
- Do you live in a hot climate? Then making homemade fruit popsicles are the best! If you are a South African, we’re sure you can remember making fruit popsicles in your childhood. Simple memories like these last forever and evoke happy feelings.
- Teach your children simple games like hopscotch and play them together. Get a pack of chalk and draw the hopscotch grid on some tar and jump the afternoon away.
- Make a scrapbook together. Memory researchers have proven that the more that events are spoken about, the more they are reinforced in a child’s memory. Create a memorable scrapbook of a lovely holiday or even special moments in your child’s life and go over the events regularly together.
- Who remembers playing ‘Hot and Cold’? This simple game is the foundation for many childhood memories. Hide a small toy in a room and when your children look for them, give them clues by shouting ‘cold’ when they move from it and ‘hot’ when they move closer.
- Camp indoors. There’s nothing more exciting than ‘living’ in a home-made camp. Put a sheet or blanket over a table and have an indoor picnic lunch.
If you are a South African living (and making memories) abroad and would like to know more about how you can maximise your finances through the process of financial emigration from South Africa, accessing your South African retirement annuity and our tailor-made tax solutions for South Africans around the world, contact FinGlobal today.