If we think back to our school days, most of us have a few vivid memories of what it was like and how we felt. The smell of arts and crafts supplies or a school gymnasium takes us back in time. These are the kinds of things we should remember to share with our children. Despite the initial eye-roll, your kids actually love to learn about your life before they existed, especially the little ones. Believe it or not, these are the kinds of things they’ll remember later on.
Back-to-school time is ideal for talking with your children. Your experiences can help them realize that you identify with how they’re feeling. They might be nervous and excited, but the memories you share with them can help put life in perspective. Tell them how exciting it was to go shopping with your parents for your new lunchbox and school clothes each year. Without cell phones and the Internet, maybe you had to call your friend on the home phone to plan your walk to school. They might get a kick out of the time you embarrassed yourself in front of your entire third-grade class. Or, how about the time your family had to move in the middle of the school year, and you were so nervous that you thought you were going to throw up? Then you met your new best friend that you’re still in touch with to this day. These kinds of stories help them see you as someone else besides their mom or dad. Sharing stories can lead to a more fulfilling relationship in the future. You also may have some sweet memories of dropping them off at kindergarten for the very first time. Do they know about the tears that welled up and how much you missed them? Maybe you can remind them that you were nervous every year too, and everything will be okay.
Seize the moment because the present becomes the past, all too soon. This season is perfect for deeper conversations with your kids that help them get to know you better, so we hope you take some time to share the memories.