As digital devices take over family life in subtle and seductive ways, what will happen to child development and family bonding when children spend more time with screens than they do at school or with their parents?
Life swirls at a hectic pace in most families today. That reality places a high premium on finding family time. Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day, is updated for today’s digitally driven and time-strapped families, offering hundreds of easy ways to create treasured childhood rituals that your children will look back on fondly.
The book hinges on 10 Cardinal Rules designed to help parents let go of work or social obligations and commit to spending time with their children. Rules include:
At home, focus as much as possible on your kids.
Put away electronic devices so you can really ‘be’ with them
Choose activities you like; children can tell when you are not having fun and are ‘faking it.’
Little Things Long Remembered is designed to help maximize parents and children’s available time. Slow down to grab pockets of time—even a few minutes here and there.
Establishing Ties (gestures that take seconds or a minute or two to strengthen parent-child bonds)
Five Minutes More or Less
Half and Hour to an Hour or So
Special Circumstances — When You Travel
Special Circumstances — Sick Days
Special Days — Happy Holidays
Special Days — Memorable Birthdays
Readers are encouraged to pick and choose to match their needs and their children’s ages and personalities. The time you spend with children and what readers choose to embrace from within these pages will become as memorable and meaningful to parents as they will be to children.
I like how the author divided this book into sections primarily based on the amount of time you might have available to spend with your child. Whether you have five minutes, a half an hour or an entire weekend this book will provide suggestions that help you connect and bond.
I particularly like the idea of involving children in the decisions of every day life. Suggestions like ask them what groceries should be added to the weekly list, what meal to make for dinner or what activities to participate in that evening.
Two of my favorite ideas were sending your child a thank you note. For example, “Thank you for helping me rake the leaves” or “thank you for helping out with your baby brother.” While we say please, thank you and your welcome quite often throughout the day, I love the idea of reinforcing this with a note that will make my son feel extra special.
I also like the suggestion of writing a letter once a month to explain what your child is doing or the fun that he’s been having. I keep a journal of major events and milestones for my son. This makes him feel special today, but will also be something he can look back on later in life.
The author highlights the need to “relive the experiences to ingrain them in your child’s mind.” I completely agree with this sentiment. Before my husband and I put my son to bed each evening we recite the events of our day. We highlight the best parts, but also talk about the disappointments or discouraging moments that made up the major events of the past twenty four hours.
Telling these stories is now one of his favorite activities. At three he is now telling me his own versions and adding new ones about adventures and activities that define our daily lives.
If you are looking for a very quick read with simple suggestions for bonding with your child this might be the book for you. It’s so tiny I think it would also make a great stocking stuffer for any parent.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book for free, but the opinions I have expressed are my own.