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Exercising Values

Happy, Healthy, Kind, & Considerate Kids

Mother's Day Missive on Creating Great Family Memories

children holidays mental health parenting selfcare support values working moms May 12, 2012

Mother's Day is tomorrow but it's focus is often times on yesterday. It brings to mind thousands of vignettes of interactions we all had with our moms. And in that lies the take way lesson for today's moms. The impression we leave with our kids, the life lessons they will recall, are made up of unplanned,unrehearsed moments that revealed who we are, what we stand for, what we will not tolerate,what and who we love, and so much more. This tapestry of daily moments woven over many years is our gift to our children and here's the kicker. They will remember days you forgot a long time ago. Some of them may make you blush and will certainly make you laugh.

I know this because I have six children who like to reminisce, sometimes at my expense, whenever they are all together. They are usually shocked if I don't remember some event that they have locked away like a treasure  Likely, it was just another routine day of parenting for me. Next week my youngest son graduates from high school thus ending our official home school that began with my oldest daughter's kindergarten year about twenty-four years ago. Graduations are big events and everyone tends to remember those. Moms remember some parts of their children's lives that are lost to them like first laughs,first steps,first words, and first books. It's the climb to the big event that is chronicled sporadically and differently by everyone who was there.

My favorite memory from any family vacation was not an expensive razzle dazzle outing. It was walking along the beach alone with my mother just after sunrise while the rest of the family slept in. Afterwards, we had breakfast and I ate Rice Krispy's for the first time and laughed that they moved in the bowl. We lived then as I do now in the land locked midwest so beach memories stand out anyway. But that particular day, walking along holding her hand stands out.

I already warned you that I have six children so I won't tell you about the special memories I have of each one of them at various ages. Instead, I'd encourage you to do the same with your own mothers and children. Take just a few moments to remember the best times and then see what you can do today to create some new memories. The key isn't a big activity. It is just being fully present in the simple daily moments.

Mother's Day is great for remembering and honoring the past but let it also be an inspiration to realize that what you do and say on a daily basis does matter.  It matters so much that I wrote Exercising Values for parents who want to be a bit strategic and intentional about what they say to their children each day. Generally, we take our chances on which random moments with us they will remember.  But if , using Exercising Values, you give them fifteen minutes each day to talk about what is most important to you for them to know and you do it while they are having fun and being active then at the very least they will remember that you were always available to them and that you had a message worth sharing. They'll feel loved and special just as I did that day my mom and I walked along the beach.

If you are stuck for a good idea of what to do, keep it simple. Walking is always a good choice for opening up conversation. The destination can be as simple as a bowl of cereal or the local play ground. It's your attention and company that they will enjoy and remember. Happy Mother's Day to you. Enjoy the weekend and the day.

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About the Author

Pamela Davenport

MSW, CPT, PES, CES, FNS, YES, SFS ACE

For decades I have helped countless parents and their children overcome significant obstacles. My unique accomplishments in the fields of child development, health, and fitness have given me an unparalleled perspective and expertise that I would love to share with you.

  • Award-Winning Author and Parenting Coach
  • Mother of six and grandmother of five
  • Studied Juvenile Justice at Stanford University
  • Master’s degree in Social Work
  • Experienced family counselor
  • Support group leader for struggling parents
  • Taught health at the university level
  • Program manager for the personal training programs at two colleges
  • Personal Trainer helping people lose 5lb-100lb+
  • Two-time Ironman Triathlete and competing member of team USA
  •  UMB Lifetime Sportswoman Award 2017