January 3, 2013

Family Reflection to Start a New Year

Doyle,-Rondi-NEW-colorBy Rondi Doyle
Director of Community Relations
Child Abuse Council

The clock has struck 12 midnight, the ball has dropped, the fireworks are over, and a new year is upon us. Before picking up the resolutions and starting the hustle of a fresh start, it is important to remember our family histories and how they have shaped the world we live in today.

Making memories with your child is important, but remembering all those stories can be more challenging. However, the end of the holiday season is a great time to reflect on family members and their stories, since they have all been around for the last few weeks. Parenting 24/7 suggests there are strategies you can use to help you along the way to building memories for your family. Some of these strategies include:

• Putting your stories down on paper. Start by asking yourself questions that your child might ask you, and then jot them down on paper.
• Beginning a family journal where you can keep stories as they come up.
• Recording stories heard at family events. The holidays spur stories, so make sure you try and capture the ones that are important to your family.
• Pulling out old photos and reminiscing about the events that have been captured in the photographs. Label the year and the occasion for each one to help remember
later on.
• Sharing a special story behind a family “treasure” that is being passed down to a younger family member. Keeping the story alive will help make the object more valuable to them.
• Creating a memory book by giving different family members pages. When you put the pages together the family will be stronger and a story for future generations will be available.

Through family bonding and reflection upon years past, this New Year can be one filled with family memories and appreciation. Helping to tell your family’s story can help a child feel more connected and more likely to follow family values. So, instead of a bed time story this January, consider sharing a family story or memory from your childhood. In this way you can keep your family’s memories alive no matter what time of year it is.

For more information about the Child Abuse Council’s prevention and education programs, you can visit us at www.childabuseqc.org or contact me at rondid@childabuseqc.org.