Kids don't need a lot of presents or gift, but they need their parents' presence. Children prefer family vacations where they have your full attention over toys. These vacations, in return, become their happiness anchors in life. And a new study affirms how these experiences or happy memories are crucial to a person's health.
Researchers from Michigan State University used data from more than 22,000 participants from the two long-term surveys. The study, published in the journal Health Psychology, showed that fond memories of childhood are linked to better health, reduced stress, less depression, and fewer chronic illnesses in adulthood.
The participants who reported more loving relationships with their mom proved to have better health as an adult. Happy memories with dads also added to experiencing fewer depressive symptoms, underlining how the active presence of a dad is vital in caregiving and parenting today.
Lead author of the study, William J. Chopik, Ph.D., shared they were most surprised at the significant impact childhood memories made on the participants as adults. They were still trying to recall the things during their childhood, which for some, were over decades ago.
"One might expect childhood memories to matter less and less over time, but these memories still predicted better physical and mental health when people were in middle age and older adulthood," Dr. Chopik said in a press release.
The next step for Dr. Chopik and his co-author, Robin Edelstein, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan is to study the effects of this link particularly in people who have a family history of chronic conditions.
No one is a perfect parent, but we all strive to be the best one we can be. The next time that comes into mind remind yourself to focus on you and your child's relationship. Kids are less stressed when they're with their parents. They feel more secure, safe, and loved. And science backs it up.
You may have lost your cool when disciplining your child a few times, but keep your focus on making more happy memories. These are investments in themselves, and they don't need to cost a lot. Remember, the good always trumps the bad.