Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Family Memoirs: Comparing and Contrasting Childhoods

If you haven't done it already, start a file on your computer where you can record your memoirs, the memories of your life and those who were a part of it.  By completing short exercises like this one every so often, you will leave the gift of your life to future generations.

Some of my earlier posts on this topic included:
Today I'd like to ask you to think back to your childhood and jot a few notes down.  Ah, but it's not that simple!  

Think about your childhood and then think about your kids' childhoods.  What was your childhood like?  What is childhood like for your children?  Compare and contrast what's different between the two.

For instance, my childhood was devoid of parental attendance at after school activities.  It just didn't happen.  Both of my parents were working.  But I think, at that time, it wasn't stressed for parents to attend games or other events.  However, today I seem to have spent most of my boys' childhoods on the soccer field.  I have missed very few games.  The amount of time I spend with my children is vastly different from what my parents spent with me.  I don't think either is right or wrong.  It's just different.

Also, think about the things you didn't like about your parents. We all had conflict with our parents at one time or another.  Was there something that your mother or father did that you said you would never do when you became a parent?  How did that turn out?  As an adult did you become opposite of your parents or did you, as the joke goes, become your parents?

Remember, this exercise is about contrasting and comparing childhoods not getting too in depth into analysis.  If you know about your parents' childhoods, you could turn this into a 3 generation exercise.  Write about how your childhood was different from your parents and how your children's is different from yours.

Future generations will love to hear about the differences in childhoods through the generations.  Take 15 minutes and get writing!

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