Everyone can remember particular memories from their childhood of time spent with their family. Some fond, maybe some not so fond, some funny, some sad, some odd and maybe some that just make you laugh out loud. We don’t tend to think about them every day, sometimes they just pop into our minds when we least expect it and others we have to really think about. Do these collection of memories really shape our lives? All our early experiences as a child have, to an extent, an impact on who and what we are today, a bit like a jigsaw puzzle.
When I think back to my childhood I think of long days spent playing outside in the street, at the beach or in the woods and of the freedom we had to roam and explore and learn about the world. In my memory it was mainly sunny, but there were also cold, wet and windy days (it was Scotland after all!) spent warm and cosy indoors, reading or playing board games or watching the meagre amount of children’s TV on offer in the 1960s and 70s. I remember family holidays, setting off in slightly ramshackle cars and trundling north to the Moray Coast where we spent days of seemingly endless sunshine on apparently endless sandy beaches, quite different from what I was used to growing up in a small village on the west coast of Scotland. I remember big family celebrations - christenings, weddings, Christmas, New Year - surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, all of us creating shared memories. You could say it’s some of the simplest things I remember, but all these things came from having a supportive and positive family who were able to give me a great start in life. Don’t get me wrong our family had its own challenges, as do we all, and I’m pretty sure my mum and dad had their struggles at times, often well hidden from young eyes and ears. All these experiences and memories have, without doubt, had an impact on who I am today and indeed how I am with my own children.
Not everyone has the same childhood opportunities though and not all families can cope all of the time. Everyone needs a little help sometimes.
When parents can’t cope with whatever life is throwing at them inevitably their children suffer. Our earliest years make the biggest impact on us. I work at Home-Start Aberdeen so that we can be there for parents when they need us most, because childhood can’t wait and everyone deserves the opportunity to create fond memories.
What fond memories can you help a family create this week, this month, this summer, this year, or next?
Whatever your memories and experiences, could you help other parents so that their children can have more fond childhood memories? It could change your life too.
Home-Start Aberdeen provides practical and emotional support to families with young children through the provision of trained, supportive volunteers who visit families, in their own homes on a weekly basis. If you have 2 – 3 hours each week to spare and would like to find out more about becoming a Home-Start volunteer get in touch with us on 01224 693545 or email firstname.lastname@example.org