Make a New Year’s Eve Time Capsule with the kids. It may provide valuable insight
As the year 2016 draws to a close, think about what significant events have occurred throughout the year — in your life, your children’s lives, and in the state of your family. Get the kids of creating a “time capsule.”
A time capsule can be made from an empty tennis ball container or similar type cylinder. Fill the inside of the time capsule with letters written by your children about the year 2016. Ask them to choose photographs and other mementos that will remind them of the year gone by. After you’ve assembled everything and sealed it in the time capsule, then bury the capsule in your backyard. Years from now, when you unearth the time capsule, you’ll likely be fascinated as you remember the year 2016.
THE REAL REASON for creating a time capsule, however, is not simply to have fun with the kids. The experience of having the children summarize their thoughts about the year 2016 and selecting photos and mementos of the year can provide great insight into what the children think about their lives and their families. Have they perhaps failed to select any pictures with their father in it? Have they written a pessimistic or angry recollection of the year? Have they expressed sadness or concern in their year-end summaries? Have they collected only mementos that remind them of time spent with a parent who has now been somehow excluded from the family? What the kids put down on paper, and what they choose to include in the time capsule, can be very insightful.
What the kids write, and what pictures and other items they select to put in the time capsule, could also provide you with early evidence of weak spots in your parenting style or your joint custody and visitation arrangement. Stay vigilant and attentive to what the kids say, what they write, what they choose to put in the capsule. Think hard about what their comments and their choices say about the year 2016 as they perceived it. The time capsule experience may provide little useful evidence or guidance and may possibly serve only the occupy a few hours of time as we enter the new year. On the other hand, it may offer one or two tidbits of information that can help you prepare better for an upcoming custody or visitation hearing in 2017. Happy New Year!