Ever wondered what your child will remember? Child psychologist reveals the 5 sweet things kids will remember from childhood (and #3 is an easy win)

"Creating good memories doesn’t require expensive toys or lavish family trips"

Children on a dog walk with their parents
(Image credit: Getty Images)

A child psychologist has revealed the five childhood memories kids tend to remember from their younger years, promising parents that you don't need 'expensive toys or lavish family trips' to create good memories for children. 

There's a lot of pressure on parents to create 'core memories' for their kids, with many doing so as they wonder if childhood memories shape who we are. But, while there are Free National Trust tickets you can get your hands on, making wonderful memories can get expensive. 

But, worry not, as it's not the extravagant holidays and fancy toys you buy a child that they're going to remember when they grow up, one expert believes. 

Psychotherapist and mum of three Carol Kim, known as ParentingResilience on Instagram, has now revealed the five, free, core childhood memories parents can give their kids that they'll always remember. 

Taking to Instagram she wrote, "Notice how creating good memories doesn’t require expensive toys or lavish family trips—your presence is the most valuable present you can give to your child," before sharing the five memories kids will remember. 

Five childhood memories kids will remember

1. Quality time together

"Taking some time to focus only on your child is very special," Kim shares. "Playing games, reading books, or just talking can create strong, happy memories. These moments show your child that you are present with them."The expert says this quality time will make kids feel 'loved and valued' and create an important memory for them that spans across days, weeks and years. "Spending time together shows your child they are important and loved, which boosts their self-esteem and makes them feel secure," she explains.  

2. Words of encouragement

"Encouraging words can greatly impact your child during both good times and tough times. Kids often seek approval from their parents and your positive words can be a strong motivator and source of comfort." These words make kids feel 'confident and capable,' Kim says. "It can help kids believe in themselves, giving them the confidence to take on new challenges and keep going when things get tough."

3. Family traditions

To create a memory of 'stability and togetherness,' Kim believes rituals like holiday celebrations, weekend routines and annual trips can give kids something to look forward to as well as back on that will strengthen family bonds.

"Family traditions make children feel like they belong and are part of a larger story, deepening their sense of security and understanding of family identity and values," she says.

4. Acts of kindness

"Seeing and doing kind things leaves a strong impression on children," the expert revealed. "It shows them the importance of being kind and caring. They remember how good it feels to help others and to see their parents helping too.

"Learning to be kind helps children understand others' feelings and want to help their community."

5. Comfort during tough times

When your child is 'sick, scared, or upset,' the expert says, as a parent you have a great opportunity to make them feel safe and supported. "Knowing they can rely on you during tough times makes them feel secure and build trust," she says.

"Comforting them when they're struggling shoes when they are loved no matter what, helping them feel emotionally secure and strong."

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News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.