What made your childhood magical? A mum reveals the 3 sweet parenting lessons she’s learned by asking parents about their core memories (the insight might surprise you)

Parents are always keen to give their kids lasting memories and turning to the ones that stick in our own minds is a great way to do so

Little girl dressed as a fairy holding her parents' hands
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Parents online have shared their most 'magical' childhood memories, spurred on by a mum who wants to make sure her kids have happy, lasting memories of their younger years - and we can learn so much from the insight. 

For all the stress of planning family days out and finding fun things to do with kids, seeing the delight on kids' faces as they make lasting, childhood memories in the sun, or more likely the rain, is more than worth it. 

But making core memories in childhood doesn't require lavish holidays, or even budget-friendly holidays, as research has shown that the childhood memories which shape who we are are often free, daily experiences like hearing music from the ice-cream truck or playing in the park with friends. 

Still, when you're wondering what your child will remember from childhood, it can feel as though you need to create elaborate plans, throw memorable birthday parties, and attend every family get-together to make sure they have the most memorable and magical childhood possible. 

But one mum, who recently took to TikTok to ask parents what their most 'magical' childhood memories were, has reminded us all that it's not those big moments that count. 

Emily Wehner, whose kids are one and three-years-old, asked her followers to share what they think made their childhood magical so she could incorporate some fairytale magic into her own kids' lives. She received thousands of responses and all of them sound wonderful. 

"My mum made tooth fairy money by ironing glitter onto a dollar bill. They were crisp and so magical!" one commenter wrote. Another added, "Moments that made my childhood magical were when my parents showed they were REALLY listening. One day on the way to school I told my mom it was my baby doll's birthday. When I got home she had set up an entire birthday party for her!"

"My dad would have us plant cheerios in the garden and the next morning had a dozen donuts sitting on top of where we planted the cheerios," another said, while someone else wrote, "Magical moments were when my mum wrapped me up in warm laundry from the dryer." 

Following up on her original video, Wehner shared the three parenting lessons she felt she had learned from the overwhelming response and they're great points to remember when thinking about how you want to create core memories for your kids. 


The little things do seem to matter. 🫶🥹✨ click the playlist below to read through all the comments

♬ original sound - Emily

1. It's all in the little things. In her follow-up video, the mum revealed that she'd been brought to tears by many of the comments, delighting in the sweet insight others had offered - insight that shows it's the small gestures parents offer to their kids that make the biggest impact. 

"It's the little things that make childhood feel magical," she concluded. "There were comments about going camping in your backyard or [how] your parents would surprise you with a trip to a hotel that was literally like a mile down the street."

2. Traditions are important. "Birthday traditions, holiday traditions, those were big," Wehner said after analysing the comments. "Just like little things like breakfast in bed on your birthday," or "magical Christmas traditions like sleeping in front of the Christmas tree and things like that."

3. An active, interested parent is most magical thing a child can have. "My third takeaway was the way your parent or caregiver made you feel. There were so many comments that were like 'my mum was the magic. She would listen to me, and she would play with me, and we would do all of these fun things, and she was the magic'," she said. 

"I often am like, 'will they notice? Does it matter, these little things that I do?'," she added. "And reading off these comments it's like, 'Oh, they do notice! I think it does matter to them'."

In other family news, parents across the internet think eight-year-olds are the ‘easiest’ kids to parent, but what do experts think? And parenting and marriage is 'harder' than ever before - an expert shares her top 3 tips for navigating your relationship as parents. Plus, teens ‘transmit’ mental health disorders in the classroom, according to research and scientists are baffled. 

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.