In this photo, April 2015: Debbie Godfrey with children; Michael, 24, Michelle, 25, Briana, 29 and Grandson, Eldon, 1 year old!
I was just working on an email to help parents understand what will happen when they take my class. I asked myself, "What did I get from learning this information when my kids were young? How did it affect their childhood? What do they think of me now that they are adults? How do they remember their childhood?"
So, instead of working on marketing my class, I decided to write to you about some things I have come to understand about what is important to kids....what they remember, what makes their lives meaningful, worthwhile and happy.
Kids remember time spent with their parents, with friends, on trips, parties, rituals, family gatherings. This world has become so materialistic, it's frightening the extent to which parents feel compelled to "buy" whatever is in fashion...toys, clothes, accessories, etc... Please hear me--Kids do not remember the "stuff" we buy them!!!! What they remember most is the time we spent with them. My kids remember the camping trips. I had a little Geo Metro (very small ECONOMICAL car for a single mom with 3 kids). I would load up the hatchback with a cooler, our tent, sleeping bags. We would put Michael's surfboard in the middle, between the two of us in the front seat and the two of them in back. We had all our stuff piled around us and our dog, and we would drive to the beach to camp over night. The kids definitely remember our camping trips! They remember with love and respect that I worked in their classrooms. They remember that I showed up at their important games and school functions. They remember the day I took them out of school so that we could wait in line at the bookstore for 4 hours and have J.K. Rowling sign our copies of her first 3 books (now worth thousands last time I checked ebay). The remember the mental health days I allowed them to have... days to just stay home and recover from the stress and trauma of life and school when it got to be too much. Spend less money and spend more time with your kids.
Kids remember injustice, which is different for everyone. I remember my daughter, Briana, getting discouraged about the contest to pick the best, "Just Say No To Drugs" essay. Her argument was, "Why do they need to pick a "best"? She felt passionately about her writing, and the thought of having it "judged" as better or worse than others made her not want to write.
Here is a link to a Pep Talk I recorded several years ago called, "Keep Your Relationship Strong". Please enjoy this almost 4 minute Parenting Pep Talk and make you comments here.