Building memories important as kids grow

Question: What are some things I can do to make good memories for my kids and family?

Question: What are some things I can do to make good memories for my kids and family?

Jim: Building memories as a family is important to create a sense of common identity and heritage. Accomplishing it, though, can be tough — especially when the demands of the day-to-day grind leave you short on time and sapped of energy.

Below are some simple ideas that have been successful memory builders for many families. Perhaps they’ll work for yours.

— Give the gift of time. Schedule one-on-one time with your kids.

If you’re running errands, take one of them along and talk and learn about what they find interesting.

Make a special day of taking your child to work with you if your employer allows.

— Make generous use of pen and paper.

While your child is small and growing, journal thoughts, observations and events in their lives and give it to them when they’re grown. Write letters to them for special occasions, when a milestone is reached, or when they’ve experienced success or disappointment. When your son or daughter is ready to leave the nest for college or another destination, write a special letter pronouncing your blessings and conveying your “release.”

— Plan vacations that center around the unique loves and interests of your clan.

If funds or time are short, set up a tent and camp out in the backyard.

— Make holidays special by starting new traditions or re-creating old ones.

— On your child’s 13th birthday, take the entire evening to celebrate the transition to adolescence. Consider commemorating the occasion with a meaningful gift.

But whatever you do, don’t let the years pass without creating some memorable times that your children will cherish and perhaps pass on to their own kids someday. You’ll be glad you did.

Question: We’ve agreed to let our 25-year-old daughter move back home with us. She’s working a part-time job, but feels she needs to come back and “get her life together” before “moving on to the next step.” We don’t know what this means or how to navigate the process. Any advice?

Dr. Greg Smalley, Vice President, Family Ministries: You’re in good company. For many reasons, some understandable and others regrettable, the number of young adults living at home, or “boomerang kids,” is at a record high.

Whatever the circumstances, the goal for parents in this situation should be the same: to help their child realize emotional and material independence.

To start, it’s important to honestly evaluate everyone’s motives. Are you lonely? Needing someone who depends on you?

Fearful of and avoiding the empty nest? Or do you want to encourage growth and maturity? Is your daughter a “perma-child,” looking for someone to take care of her?

Or is she striving to achieve goals that will lead to her independence?

Next, you’ll want to discuss and agree on your terms. Some areas to cover are:

— House Rules: If you don’t approve of overnight guests, blaring stereos, profanity, drug use, etc., then clarify your standards up front.

— Household Responsibilities: Some amount of rent should be required, even if it’s below market. Making these payments will develop habits necessary for independence. The same is true for contributions in the form of chores.

— Progress Indicators: Ongoing lodging privileges should be tied to evidence of moving forward. Is she searching for full-time work?

Are school loans and debts being paid down? Is money being saved for future goals?

— Length of Stay: A goal for finding her own place should be discussed and agreed on.

The date needn’t be set in stone, and can be re-evaluated based on circumstances and the progress being made.

Jim Daly is a husband and father, an author, and president of Focus on the Family and host of the Focus on the Family radio program. Catch up with him at www.jimdalyblog.com or at www.facebook.com/DalyFocus.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Erika Fetterly, owner of EFP Studios, recently launched the Let Them Have A Voice campaign. (Contributed photo)
Central Alberta photographer’s campaign aims to give youths a voice

An Innisfail photographer is giving a platform to young central Albertans so… Continue reading

Chopped Canada-winning chef Pete Sok is trying to focus on the future as he reopens Boulevard Restaurant and Lounge in the Holiday Inn on Gasoline Alley during the pandemic. (Contributed photo)
Red Deer’s celebrity chef looks past the pandemic with new restaurant opportunity

Pete Sok is reopening Boulevard Restaurant — and betting on the future

The Red Deer Rebels hosted the Medicine Hat Tigers in the first game of the shortened 2020-21 season on Friday. The two teams faced off again in Medicine Hat Saturday (Photo by Rob Wallator/ Red Deer Rebels)
Red Deer Rebels fall to Medicine Hat Tigers on Saturday

Tigers 7 Rebels 2 The Red Deer Rebels have lost two straight… Continue reading

Alberta has 1,910 active cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday. Red Deer is reporting five active cases, with 108 recovered. (File photo)
Red Deer reports 25th COVID-19 death

415 new cases identified provincially Saturday

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped save a missing pet recently. The two dogs have more than 80,000 followers on Twitter. (Contributed photo)
WATCH: Red Deer science dogs help save lost pet

Red Deer science-communicating dogs Bunsen and Beaker helped rescue a missing pet… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney speaks during a news conference in Edmonton on Feb. 24, 2020. It’s budget day in the province, and Kenney’s United Conservative government is promising more help in the fight against COVID, but more red ink on the bottom line. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta Premier slams vandalism after slur painted on MLA’s office window

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is condemning alleged vandalism at the… Continue reading

Canada Pension Plan Investment Board President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Machin waits to appear at the Standing Committee on Finance on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa on Tuesday, November 1, 2016. Executives who engage in so-called "vaccine tourism" show both an ethical disregard for those less fortunate and a surprising lack of business acumen, experts argue. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine tourism is both unethical and bad for business, experts say

Executives who engage in so-called “vaccine tourism” show both an ethical disregard… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers' Jesse Puljujarvi (13) and Toronto Maple Leafs' Justin Holl (3) battle in front as goalie Jack Campbell (36) makes the save during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, February 27, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
No Matthews, no problem: Minus NHL goal leader, Maple Leafs blank Oilers 4-0

Leafs 4 Oilers 0 EDMONTON — The Maple Leafs knew even with… Continue reading

The Pornhub website is shown on a computer screen in Toronto on Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS
Pornhub policies reveal legal gaps and lack of enforcement around exploitive videos

OTTAWA — Serena Fleites was in seventh grade when a sexually explicit… Continue reading

Sean Hoskin stands on a neighbourhood street in Halifax on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. Hoskin was diagnosed with COVID-19 almost a year ago with symptoms that still persist. Some provinces have established programs to deal with long-term sufferers but Atlantic Canada, with relatively low numbers of patients, has yet to provide a resource to assist them. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Vaughan
On East Coast, exhausted COVID-19 ‘long haulers’ hope specialized clinics will emerge

HALIFAX — On evenings when Sean Hoskin collapses into bed, heart pounding… Continue reading

Ottawa Senators goaltender Matt Murray (30) stands in his crease as Calgary Flames left wing Andrew Mangiapane (88), left to right, defenceman Rasmus Andersson (4), Matthew Tkachuk (19), Mikael Backlund (11) and Mark Giordano (5) celebrate a goal during second period NHL action in Ottawa on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Calgary Flames beat Ottawa 6-3 to end Senators’ three-game win streak

Flames 6 Senators 3 OTTAWA — The Calgary Flames used a balanced… Continue reading

Crosses are displayed in memory of the elderly who died from COVID-19 at the Camilla Care Community facility during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on November 19, 2020. The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection is likely to be much higher than recorded because of death certificates don't always list the virus as the cause of a fatality, experts say. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Death certificates don’t accurately reflect the toll of the pandemic, experts say

The number of people who would have died from a COVID-19 infection… Continue reading

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto, Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021. A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough to cover the average pinky nail but is made up of more than 280 components and requires at least three manufacturing plants to produce. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
From science to syringe: COVID-19 vaccines are miracles of science and supply chains

OTTAWA — A single dose of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine is barely enough… Continue reading

Most Read