Writing about your earliest memory as a toddler

Writing about your earliest memory can be entertaining and revealing.

Writing about your earliest memory can present a challenge. Often, they’re not coherent. You might only remember a room, a noise, or impressions. However, writing about your earliest memory or memories and explaining why they matter can provide a meaningful glimpse into your childhood.

It’s fun to compare something we all share

It’s fun to compare your own early memory with the earliest memories of loved ones. Most of our earliest memories date back to age three of four, though some people have even earlier memories. Although some researchers have connected our ability to form and retain very early memories to our development of language, what we remember seems random. Whether they’re happy, sad, clear, or fleeting varies greatly from person to person.[1]

Bill Briggs, a NBC News contributor, summarizes, “For whatever reason, one lone moment has been selected and stamped in our brains as the first day our life experiences became worthy of mentally filing away and cataloguing. In a sense, they’re our cognitive birthday.”[2]

Writing about your earliest memory can help you recall other memories

Writing about your earliest childhood memory can augment recall

My sister and I with our favorite dolls. (I don’t really remember mine…)

It happened to me while I was writing this article. Thinking about my earliest memory brought other early memories to mind. In addition, sharing your early memories with family members will spark their memories. When you put your heads together, you’ll have a wealth of recall.

Writing about your earliest memory gives insight into your childhood self

Exploratorium.com has a forum where readers have submitted their earliest memories. The brief—mostly one sentence—descriptions are striking. They bring poignant visions of a vulnerable child. You connect with them.

If that can happen with a total stranger, think of the connection that can grow out of sharing with your loved ones. Writing about your earliest memories will add depth to the connection you’re forming. Your loved ones will connect with the young child as well as the adult.

Your Turn

What was your earliest memory?

[1] Joanna Schaffhausen, “Gone But Not Forgotten? The Mystery Behind Infant Memories,” BrainConnection.com, April 22, 2013, http://brainconnection.positscience.com/gone-but-not-forgotten-the-mystery-behind-infant-memories/.

[2] Bill Briggs, “How far back can you remember? When earliest memories occur,” NBCNews.com, August 24, 2012, http://bodyodd.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/08/24/13439658-how-far-back-can-you-remember-when-earliest-memories-occur?lite.


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