No matter if you’re a new family waiting on your first addition, or an older sending off your last to college, it’s always nice as a parent to have something to look back on as the years go by. Try making a record of your family’s growth. There are many ways to do this, and consolidating memories and tracking family members’ growth and achievements helps remember those big moments and successes.
Measure Your Family
A simple but oft-overlooked solution is to track growth in the most literal way. You can use a board, spare moulding, or a door frame to measure and mark family members’ heights each year. When you move, bring the measure with you. When you move, install the measure in your new home to show off your family’s growth wherever you live.
Make a Family Photo Album
Whether you’re a traveling Carolinian taking pictures of your family in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a New Yorker doing professional shoots with a NYC family photographer every year, or just a parent who wants pictures of everybody at Christmas, creating a family photo album is the classic growth record of choice for many families. If you have a lot of family pictures, you may want multiple albums, though you may decide that one is enough. If you choose to have multiple albums, they may each have different themes. Look through old family pictures, school pictures, holiday cards, and even drawings. Before you start adding things, decide if you want your album to have a theme and how you want to organize it.
Record Videos and Slideshows
You don’t have to limit yourself to just one form of media for recording, either. In addition to fitting into albums, family photos also make good slideshows and social media stories. Additionally, with the ongoing spread of the smartphone, quality family videos are just as easy to take as family photos.
Digital copies also protect your mementos in case physical copies are damaged by flood, fire, or other disasters. Copy pictures and videos from your camera or phone onto your computer and save it on a disk, flash drive, or cloud server to keep those memories safe.
Design a Trophy Room
If your family has a competitive streak, a trophy room may be a good place to track their victories. Of course, these don’t all have to be actual trophies. You may also want to include proof of a major milestone, like a graduation diploma. Having a place to put these proudly on display is always a good way to remember and show off how far you’ve all come.
These days, there are several options available to trace your family tree back to its roots. You can take up a crash course and start digging into the history books and databases to learn not only who you’re related to but who they were as people. Consider compiling this information in a book to share with your immediate and extended family. When you have some work started, you might even want to travel to visit places your ancestors lived. With some detective work, you may be able to find even more specific information about your family members.
Ultimately, how you record your family’s growth is up to you, but there’s no wrong way to do it. Annual family get-togethers, regular photo shoots, baby pictures, videos, sports trophies, or a family history book all helps in building a legacy you can pass down through the generations.