As with all of my posts, teaching them memory skills can start at a very young age.  

Children love to hear you talk and love it even more when you talk about them, so even when they are little babies, you can talk about what you did today as you are driving home.  You can show them pictures of when Grandpa was visiting and how you went for a hike.  You can tell them that you had so much fun going out to lunch today with Papa as you are nursing them to sleep.

Then as they grow, make it part of your routine.  They can be a barely walking one-year-old and you can ask them questions such as, “Was this the same house we went to last time we visited Cousin Amy?” Then answer yourself.  “Hmmm… YEP! I think it is!” and get all excited.  (They will get excited too.)

On the way home from the park, you can talk about all of the things that they did and even if they aren’t talking yet, you can ask them what their favorite part was.  

Family dinners are already one of the super-punch best things you can do for your kids, but to add to it, it can help build their memory skills by talking about things that happened in the past, (“Do you remember Halloween last year?  And all those pumpkins we carved!”) or things that happened today, (“What was the funniest part of your day?”)

But the best part about building memory skills is the triple added bonus that you get with it. 

First of all, memory is an important cognitive skill and will help with school, work, reading, writing, music, etc.  Once you start helping your child remember things in their lives, you are building brain pathways that will help with numerous skills.

The second bonus is social skills.  A lot of parents may feel funny talking to a baby and then coincidentally children start talking about the age of two which is also when they start misbehaving and becoming defiant so parents often don’t start having real “conversations” until they are about 7 or 8 years old.   When toddlers and preschoolers are invited into the conversation, they learn how to converse with others, and they build language skills and social skills.

And finally, when you make talking about your day, last year, or fun past trips a priority, you are building a close relationship between you and our child.   These kinds of conversations build connection and will give your child an upper-hand when dealt a lot of the blows that life tends to give us. 

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