As defined in Cambridge Dictionary, YOLO (you only live once) is “used, especially on social media, to mean that you should do things that are enjoyable or exciting even if they are silly or slightly dangerous.” It is an expression commonly used by millennials.
But we have to remember that the millennial generation no longer includes only single, career-oriented, or fun-loving individuals but also newlyweds and brand-new parents. Hence, from YOLO, millennial parents should take note of a new mantra when it comes to their adorable babies-TOLO, which means “they are only young once.”
Reality of Parenthood
Being a millennial parent means you are in the perfect stage where you know how to be a responsible person, and at the same time, you still remember how you used to be as a rebellious son or daughter. These memories serve as a warning. The apple does not fall far from the tree. If you did it before, there is a chance that your children might do it, too.
Alright, maybe rebellion is an exaggeration. Exploration may be a more proper term. Based on your personal experience, you know that there will come a time when a child grows up and spreads his/her wings, ready to explore the world.
This is a fact of life. No matter how cute they are right now, you have to accept the reality that someday, you will have to let go of them too, just like what your parents did. A parent can only hope that they have done their best to raise their children well, and in the future, they will always choose to go home not because they were forced to, but because they want to.
Importance of Happy Memories
Why is it essential to create great memories with your children?
Aside from the inevitable fact that the clock is ticking and your kids might leave the nest someday, it is also vital for your kids. Creating fun memories will not only bring you closer to your kids, but it will also affect how they view the world.
In an article published by Greater Good magazine, Neuroscientist Rick Hanson discusses how positive experiences offset life’s painful challenges. It means that when a child is raised in a positive environment, it will be easier for them to deal with difficult situations during adulthood.
Creating Positive Memories
There are thousands of ideas all over the web on how you can spend a fun time with your children. But the best source of ideas is you. As a parent, you know your child best, and you are the first person who will probably know which activity your kid enjoys the most.
Some children like playing with toys. Creative ones like building sandcastles on the beach. Others enjoy the thrill and adventure of riding a roller coaster in the theme park.
It should be no surprise that some get their source of enjoyment through learning. These are your future little Einsteins. Or maybe your kid is a future Gigi or Bella Hadid who enjoys fashion and loves to play dress-up.
No matter which activity you choose, you just need to make sure that you ask your kids what good things they remember at the end of the day. Rick Hanson says that doing this exercise helps a child associate good memories with positive feelings.
Rachel Barr, director of Georgetown Early Learning Center, also said in an article from The Washington Post that conversations between parents and kids are also essential. Barr adds that as early as two years old, kids can already remember stories. With repetition, they also learn how to tell these stories. So the next time you talk to your kids, remember to mention the great things that happened that day.
Another great way to reinforce memories is through photos. Abstract photographer Aaron Siskind once said, “Photography is a way of feeling, of touching, of loving. What you have caught on film is captured forever. It remembers little things, long after you have forgotten everything.”
When the brain fails to remember, a photograph restores. With just one click, you can save a thousand memories with your child. If photography isn’t in your roster of talents, or if you want a professional to capture those happy memories, there are plenty of photo studios offering photo-editing services for your little one.
Take That Chance
So what’s stopping you from having fun with your kids while you still can? Nothing. It is a win-win situation between you and your kid. You get to enjoy them while they’re still cute and adorable, and at the same time, you get to prepare them for life.