Preschool Memories

Preschool Memories StudyOne of the most vivid preschool memories that I have of my life prior to age 5          is when I was two years old and I managed my way onto one of my great-uncles young, unbroken and high-strung horses by using a small step latter.

I am 42 years old as I write this and I can clearly, to this day, recall moving that step ladder at least ten times in an attempt to climb up and get the horse's back.

Each attempt, except the last, was unsuccessful because the horse would move just far enough away that I couldn't get on his back.

Once I did make it on, I recall holding its mane and kicking, trying to "make it go"!
preschool memories
To my disappointment the horse would not go outside of the 10 foot shadow that the front of the barn had cast.  It walked back and forth, pacing, in front of that barn but it wouldn't go out into the hot sun.

It was a short time later that my parents, grandparents and my great uncle Ray discovered that I had snuck out of the big farm house.  It was then that they saw me kicking and yelling at that horse to make him go. 

Today, as a parent of six children , I can now fully comprehend the tenseness and the extreme high anxiety that I caused for all of family that day.  

Lucky for me, the horse didn't bolt and my uncle grabbed me safely off the horse.  Even today uncle Ray will tell you that he was very surprised that the horse just stood there.  

To this day, my parents can't believe that I still remember that event.

childhood memoryThis is, however, one of just a handful of memories that I have prior to the age of 5.   

How come I can't remember more? I don't know, but I believe it is typical of most of us.    

It amazes me how my much my wife Sheri can remember prior to the age of five.  

I believe that I am more typical of most people, my wife is not.

What makes us remember some things and not others?

I came across a study conducted by Dr. Carole Peterson of the Memorial University of Newfoundland.  Since the 1970s she has explored the dynamics of children's autobiographical memories.

The study is believed to be the first to systematically mark the onset of "childhood amnesia".

One of the points that I found most interesting is that she claims that parents can play a role in determining which of the children's preschool memories become lifelong ones.

The more parents talk to children about particular experiences, the greater the chance that this verbal reinforcement will extend early memories.

Preschool memories ... fascinating!

What Do You Remember Prior to Starting School?

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