LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Why sharing memories is important to a child’s development.

Many new studies are being released showing how talking about memories with your kids is extremely beneficial when it comes to creating a better sense of mental well-being. The most recent study, lasting nearly 15 years from the University of Otago, showed mothers who had open and responsive conversations with their children at a young age about things they did or experienced resulted in these same kids dealing with far fewer symptoms of depression and anxiety as teenagers.

Child development expert Kendra Moyses with Michigan State University says, there is a big difference with talking at your kids, like no don’t do that or I need you to clean up your room, versus, having conversations where it is a serve and return interaction.

“You’re asking for their opinion, or asking for their thoughts and feelings on things. For example, ‘Hey do you remember when we went and fed those ducks at the pond?… How did you feel about that?… What was exciting about that?’ You want to talk about the part they played to start creating core memories. It also helps to establish the good things that happened in their life, like, how they overcame some adversity. It really empowers them to think that they can do things.”

Moyses adds that bringing up past memories shouldn’t always be fun times. Reminiscing past events that brought some pain or confusion is just as important so that your kids can ultimately get long-lasting benefits, due to them being able to process and talk about difficult times they’ve gone through.