45 Parents Share What Petty And Insignificant Things Their Kids Just Don’t Forget
Time heals all wounds, right? Sure, sometimes. But that is not the case when you forgot to bring the sauce to a BBQ eleven years ago. Your own family will needle you on such an irreparable disaster for the rest of their lives.
People will remain salty about petty injustices, and there's not that much anyone can do about it. Someone might say something about forgiveness, but then no one would get to complain. So where's the fun in that?
Kids are no exception. Recently, Todd Dillard's viral tweet kickstarted a thread where parents share the verbal jabs their kids throw at them for the petty crimes they have committed. And let me tell you, they sting.
Todd said his daughter is a curious and kind girl.
"I remember scraping off the burnt part of the quesadilla and then serving it to her," he told Bored Panda. "The look on her face was like I'd made dinner by microwaving socks! I think I made meatballs for her instead."
This time, she did end up having a quesadilla. However, it wasn't burned.
While research has demonstrated that very young children can recall memories with specific details, for memories of their parents failing to become autobiographical—part of the child’s life story and real to them—there must first be a developed sense of self and personal identity.
Interestingly, children do not fully develop a sense of self until they're around 1 ½ or 2 years of age. Having a sense of self, the “I” separate from others, gives a place for memory to be organized and develop personal meaning.
Although memory is not fully developed in infancy, the early childhood period (birth through age 8) is important for children in building and acquiring the development of memory.
Looking at memory development can provide parents with a new way to think about and plan for their children. Think of it like this, memory development not only takes you back to experiences that hold meaning, but it is a complex cognitive ability that is important in many aspects of thinking and learning, such as language and literacy, planning, following directions, problem-solving, reflecting, imagining, and the overall ability to form a positive sense of self. Our memory is vital to our everyday life.
Remembering starts with understanding. Children learn about memory by talking with others and by experiencing life within their environments. However, if children experience something that they do not fully understand, they are less likely to remember it (or to recall events correctly).
So adults play a significant role in helping children understand and remember.
The most important thing adults can do is to provide responsive, joyful, and nurturing interactions with children. Another quite important, yet simple way adults can contribute is by telling stories and narrating experiences, especially the ones they have shared with children. By doing so, the adult can revisit events, provoke thought, and even help children recall what they cannot remember. In essence, the adult is reconstructing the shared memory.
This brings us to language. It bridges understanding and helps in shaping memory. Adults can foster language with children by telling stories, retelling events, and asking questions that relate to experiences children have had. Questions that tap into the what, the where, the when, the why, and the how really help children gather details, descriptions, and emotions about the experience.
Eventually, children will start to ask themselves the same types of questions that the adults have been asking. As children look inward, ask questions, and try to understand their own thoughts, they are forming memories.
But in order for children to be able to imagine, they must use information that is stored in the brain (things they remember and understand). When they begin to imagine, the details recombine in a new way.
Along with fostering language, adults can cultivate children's imaginative play by using props, materials, and photographs–anything that sparks a connection to both past memories and to form newly imagined ideas. Drawing tools and materials are also good support for documenting, organizing, and illustrating past and forthcoming ideas.
When children start going to school, they must be able to process information to follow directions and remember classroom rules.
To process information, children need to categorize, understand, and respond to the message that an adult gives them.
But remember, before they can process a message, all parts of it must be understood. Since children have limited memory spans, they may miss part of the message, or even all of it, if they have to process too many things at once.
Again, adults can help children to remember and do what we ask of them by giving directions that are uncomplicated and stated effectively, such as “Please put the books on the bookshelf”. It is much better than “Let’s clean up.”
Also, use clear directives of what to do as opposed to what not to do. For example, it is better to ask children to “please walk” as opposed to “no running”.
We can't stress this enough—it really helps when adults clearly explain the “why” of a direction. For example, when children are asked to put the books away, we might add that, “We need to put our books back on the shelf so we can find them tomorrow.”
The child doesn’t have to use any memory to wonder why they have to put the books away and can focus on the task and not the reason behind it.
Lastly, routines. They can also help children form memory. By repeating behaviors, children’s knowledge base increases and becomes more organized. Through repetitive routines, children can fully process information. Responses are remembered and become more automatic. Keep routines simple and consistent. Consider breaking activities into steps and introducing steps gradually.