It’s almost spring and a perfect time to do some weeding in our mental gardens. I was talking with one of my daughters the other day about childhood memories both good and bad and how some of us remember the bad experiences more than the good. She shared some of her bad memories of places we lived and horrible school experiences. This is on her mind because her children have had a lot of cross country moves, and her son especially, has had to leave family and friends behind and always is attending a new school.
As parents we try so hard to make sure our kids have good memories of their childhood, but sometimes they only remember the bad stuff. I understand this–I wrote a whole book about my bad childhood. I think it’s important to be mindful of our children’s lives, and of course do the best by them, but nothing is perfect–especially we humans, and life in general. Jobs are lost and children feel the stress. Sometimes moving away occurs and there is sadness leaving friends and family, and children sometimes have to deal with divorce and even death.
I think the best we can do as parents is to teach children that you create good memories by focusing on the good times and not the bad times. We have to let them know that they are in control of how they feel, and it really comes down to the choices they make. Every day is a new beginning for good things to come their way. All of us need to put our attention on the good moments we have experienced, and in doing so, we can chase the sad or bad memories away.
In the past, whenever I would think of my mom all kinds of negative thoughts swirled in my mind. I knew there had to be good times in my childhood and there it was–her Strawberry Vanilla Pudding Pie. How excited I would get when I opened the refrigerator and there it was just waiting for me. I wanted to eat the whole thing! That pie represents the joy I feel when I think about my mom.
Whether you are guiding your children to focus on good memories, or you want to remember only the good times of your childhood, somewhere in your data bank must be a Strawberry Vanilla Pudding Pie.