Affective memory is a very important element in children’s development. With it, the little ones learn about their feelings, limits and functioning of their own body and emotions, guaranteeing a healthy cognitive and emotional growth. So, how to help in its construction There are several ways to help your child build up an affective memory in order to reap all its benefits for healthy development. Thinking of helping you in this mission, we have prepared this content with the main information on the subject.

What is affective memory?

Affective memory is nothing more than that memory which arises through sensory and emotional elements. Thus, it appears from specific triggers, such as sounds, smells, tastes and colours that refer to something important that happened in the past.

It is, then, through kinaesthetic factors that we assemble this kind of memory and remember our childhood and adolescence as adults. For example, you can pass in front of a bakery and smell a special batch coming out and, automatically, feel on your skin the happiness that appeared when your grandmother prepared a different bread to be shared with the family.

The smell of food prepared as a family, a touch of massage from parents, listening to music at full volume inside the house build affective memories that are carried during our life and triggered by a similar trigger. Thus, we keep our childhood stories and memories alive.

That is why strengthening affective memories is so important. They are able to recall what we have already experienced and bring a feeling from the past to the present, even helping in the child’s development of his little one!

How are memories formed?

As you may already imagine, memory is formed from memories that are in our consciousness. During the first years of life, the baby still does not have a continuous memory. He carries with him isolated points of his experience that are marked by impactful experiences.

Thus, as the child is learning about the sensory universe, discovering new sounds, touches, smells, colours and tastes, it is natural that the most striking points of his growth are related to these factors. After all, we all tend to focus on what attracts our attention the most, don’t we?

In this sense, from the small one’s curiosity to understand the sensorial novelties, he builds affection for the experiences and manages to record them in his conscience. In this way, in the future, these memories appear as affective memories. This makes him capable of exploring all his development from these sensory triggers, improving self-knowledge.

Going further, the process of forming affective memories also contributes greatly to the recognition of the different sensations and emotions that arise from important events. For example, a simple massage of the parents can be associated with the feeling of care and security, and can be triggered easily when the little one feels frightened.

How Parents Can Help Build Affective Memory

One of the great questions, when we think about affective memory, concerns the best techniques to help in its formation and consolidation in children’s development. Because it is a memory that involves the sensory sphere, there are many ways to help in its construction.

In the next topics, we have separated the best actions you can take with your child to help him develop affective memories and, in order to break them, strengthen the bond between you. Keep up!

Spend more quality time with the little ones

Time is a relative factor for families. After all, what defines a quality time to be enjoyed with children? The truth is that it is your family that decides the period necessary to strengthen the family bond.

Some children demand more dedicated attention, while others like to have more time for themselves. So, regardless of the amount of time dedicated to enjoying with the little one, the fundamental thing to ensure that this period is of quality is to find ways to play at home with the sensations.

Affective memory is a very important element in children's development.
CREDIT: NATE JOHNSTON / UNSPLASH

Here, you can separate a moment from your routine with your child to make a different recipe in the kitchen, play in the garden or even create a day when the limits are more flexible and the child can jump on the sofa, set up a fort with sheets in the living room and even sleep at a different time.

Having active participation in school activities

There is no denying it: many affective memories are created in the school environment. In kindergarten, your child works with collages, cooking and creative child reading. Through these activities, learning is improved and the affective bonds between the child and those in charge are strengthened.

Therefore, participating in school activities, such as helping your child with homework and attending parent-teacher conferences, is an excellent way of helping your child to create affective memories.

Sharing meals

Do you remember that we commented on the possibility of separating a moment in your routine to cook with your little one? Yes, cooking is an excellent starting point for forming affections during children’s development. After all, it has all the important sensory aspects: smell, taste, sight, touch and hearing.

However, if your routine does not allow you to go to the kitchen very often, how about sharing meals with your child? You can choose one of them to be held as a family, such as breakfast, lunch, dinner or even an afternoon snack.

With this, you guarantee not only a time to sit down and enjoy a beautiful table with different colours, textures, smells and tastes, but also a time together to talk and strengthen family bonds. Remember that it is the articulation of the senses with emotional experiences that form affective memories.

Read to your child

Going further, you can insert a day into your weekly routine to read for your little one and ensure essential quality time in forming emotional memories. This is because reading aloud helps to form the imagination and enhances the feeling of trust and security between parents and children.

By telling a story to the child, he feels contemplated in the fictional universe and can imagine himself within the narratives of each character. He can sometimes be the hero, the villain or the supporting actor, understanding the importance of each one in the construction of the scenarios.

What’s more, throughout the development, this can be a specific period for everyone to read together and share what they are learning from the books. Thus, the sense of looking is articulated with imagination, creativity and the building of an important family affective bond, even helping in the communication skills of your child.

Do you understand how important affective memory is for the growth of your child? After all, it guarantees important childhood memories and helps in your child’s personal development and self-knowledge! To help in his formation, remember to articulate your senses with the emotions in the activities performed at home and at school.

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