Do your kids like photos? Mine love photos–of themselves, of course! Lately I’ve been snuggling in bed at night with Isla while she goes to sleep, and her favorite way to pass the time…”Mommy, show me pictures of Isla!” So I dig up my Instagram feed and scroll back through pictures I’ve come to love and ones I’ve forgotten were there.
Her current favorite? A two-year-old picture of an abdominal x-ray she had done after she swallowed two travel-size chess pieces that had magnets in their bases. Most expensive toy we’ve ever owned, that chess set! An ER visit, a doctor’s visit, and two x-rays later and she’s fine, but I am decidedly poorer!
We look at the belly, the hips, the ribs, the legs, the spine…Every time I point out the same things, tell the same story. And every day, she asks again.
Jude is the same, except with pictures of his cousin. Mem-mem, Mem-mem, MEM-MEM!!! (i.e. his name is Bentley, in case you don’t speak toddler). We look for pictures of Cousin everywhere! My texts, my Instagram, Uncle’s Youtube, all our family’s Facebooks…All my kids love Bentley, but Jude looooovvveeesss Bentley, making my auntie heart very happy!
Have you read this article? I’ll give you the super cliff-notes version, but the entire thing is worth a read. The barebones summary is this:
The single best predictor of a child’s emotional health and happiness is how much they know about their families.
The single best!
In the article, Dr. Sara Dukes reports, “The ones who know a lot about their families tend to do better when they face challenges.”
Dig out the family photos. Unearth old home movies. Polish off the family stories. Maybe take a trip to show your children where you came from, or even their grandparents. Passing down your family’s stories is more than just a fun way to spend an hour or an evening–it’s a pivotal connection point in which you make an investment in your children’s long-term happiness and well-being.