Before the age of 2 the memories are fragments, but after 24 months the episodes become longer.
I can date them as my brother was born when I was 16 months old and I recall him in the bassinet, and crawling. I'm bemused by the idea that early memories usually involve social interaction. The interactions I recall were meaningless, baffling or threatening to me. Mostly my sense was that I was an observer. I also am interested to find if others have these sorts of early memories. I haven't spoken to anyone who has, to my surprise.
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Thank you for once again sharing some of your earliest memories. Although the research literature emphasizes the average age of 3 as typical of earliest memories, I have encountered a number of people who can report memories of experiences that occurred when they were between 1 and 3 years old. One reason for the discrepancy might be the implicit definition of "memory" that instructions in research elicit. People might assume that they are to report coherent experiences. Reports of memories before age 3 are often more fragmentary with a more narrow focus on features of the environment.
The nature of these reports is consistent with how an infant encounters the world. Even the vantage point of an infant is different, as the infant is viewing the physical world in a more limited way. At the same time, the infant is developing cognitively in ways you describe. Initially, babies engage in "magical thinking" from an egocentric perspective. Your account of learning that your mother couldn't read your mind or know your thoughts illustrates how infants learn from experience in order to advance beyond magical thinking.
Similarly, your memory of playing with your sister reveals how you advanced beyond egocentric thinking. You began to see the world from the point of view of another person as well as from your own. A most interesting aspect of your memories is the focus on having been an "observer. Your experiences, however, suggest that they might also reflect your experiences as a "middle" child. If you had siblings older and younger than yourself, you might have had the sense of being observer that often comes with that birth order status.
The fact that you are an illustrator and graphic artist does suggest that your most vivid permanent memories reflect those things that bring you the most pleasure and that are most important and meaningful to you.
Thank you so much for contributing your valuable insights and reflections! My earliest memory is me trying to run away when I was 4 years old. My cousin and I were sitting on the back steps alone. I made it through 3 neighbors back yards and to the sidewalk next to a busy street before anyone stopped me. I wish I could remember what prompted me to want to run away.
Thank you so much for a great memory.
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It seems that you recall quite a few details, which is unusual for a memory dating to such a young age. Research suggests that the experience was emotional and distinctive enough to make it memorable. It's likely that you don't remember why you wanted to run away because running away and its aftermath were more exciting than the reason that prompted it. Your recall illustrates also how importance changes so dramatically from childhood to adulthood.
Most likely the reason seemed so important to you then, but now would be trivial e. Thanks so much for sharing an interesting early experience! My earliest memory has been confirmed to me by my mother as occurring when I was about 8 months old. I have fairly complete and complex memories of my life from that time forward.
However, I began speaking individual words between months, and full sentences by 10 months. My mother also discovered I could read at 2. My extremely early memories run the gamut in subject and content, and are fairly complete. I can even remember dreams I had, and recount conversations I had with family members from the age of about 12 months onward. I have no idea why any of this is so. As I was born in a very small town in the late 70's, no one really found any of this to be too remarkable. I always thought everyone was that way until I was older, and kids at school said it was weird.
By the way, I am not on the autism spectrum, and I do not have any mental or physical illness aside from autoimmune problems and MS, with which I was diagnosed at age I have always wondered if perhaps my ability to remember things from such an early age correlated with my early mastery of speaking and reading. I would assume so, but I haven't been able to find much research on the subject. Thanks to all for sharing their experiences.
I do find this subject fascinating! Your memories are remarkable in their vividness, number, and detail dating to such a young age. Your question about the possible correlation with early mastery of speaking and reading is astute. During the s, Eleanor Gibson famous for her visual cliff studies with infants at Cornell researched early development and learning to read. She noted that a small number of very young children were, in her words, "paper and pencil" children. By this she meant they learned language very early and had an intrinsic interest in reading and writing. There is some renewed interest today in exploring the characteristics of such early bloomers.
The possible connection between early language and memories is consistent with one theory of the more typical "infant amnesia. My oldest memory that i remember when i was 5 years old i was told that im not real child of my mother,i wasn't part of the family i did'nt remember anymore who told it to me, i wish i remember. I am 25 now and most of my childhood friends have their own family, but i don't see myself having my own family maybe its because of that chilhood memory.
Your memory reminds us that intense emotion contributes to the power of memories to persist and to affect our perceptions of ourselves and others. Sometimes early childhood memories are inaccurate in important details, because young children cannot understand events and information in the same way adults do. It is difficult to explain social relationships to young children, and your experience reminds us of the importance of explaining such situations only when a child is mature enough and then in terms the child can understand.
It is clearer today that family means so much more than the traditional biological model or example once considered the norm. When painful memories dominate, it can be very helpful to explore the more positive experiences and to consider how one can learn from the past and grow beyond it.
It is encouraging to focus on how we can overcome the painful experiences of the past and build the kind of future we want to look forward to. It is most important to learn from the past and grow beyond it. We can thrive as we focus on the present and the future. My father died of cancer in August of I turned 3 in February of I have 3 clear memories of time with my dad before his death. One was the memory of me standing beside him as he drove his pickup. Standing in the seat with my arm on his shoulder. One memory of him at a small bridge with water flowing over it.
He knelt down and scooped up a baby fish for me to see. Last memory was of a white room and my dad laying in a bed with a clear plastic tent over him. My mom later confirmed that was my dad on his death bed in the hospital and the plastic tent was an oxygen tent. She said he summoned my brothers and I to see him. My mom said he died 10 minutes after we left his room.
Thank you for sharing your precious memories of your dad. Your vivid recall of those events when you were so young reflect how important he was to you. It is so powerful to realize that the time we spend with our young children lays the foundation for their future understanding of social bonds.http://techbadges.com/4605.php
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As adults, we might consider a ride in the truck or stopping by a stream to take the time to show our child a small fish to be simple ordinary activities. It's wonderful to think that in the eyes of the child these can be dramatic, important, and wonderful enough to be remembered for a lifetime. I can recall many events from the age of apprx 8 months maybe ealier - but not exactly sure -because I cannot prove even to myself my earlier memroies - and I know exactly why I remember them It was fun when adults thought I didnt understand things.
And remember how I was learning to speak my native language which helped me to learn some other new languages. And it also helps in communicating with children and animals. It is most interesting that you recall learning to speak your first language and that you remember when adults thought you didn't understand certain things. You would have been in the early stages of learning language between 8 and 12 months.
You mention learning other languages as well. Being multi-lingual might contribute to your ability to remember such vivid early memories. Thank you for sharing your exceptional experiences.
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I think, if a child has a very happy or very unhappy childhood with the same routine - they forget or want to forget these memories. But I changed location, and had negative and positive experiences, that is why I remmeber.
But at some point new interesting events occurred, so I forgot my earliest memories. I eve wanted to write a book, but not sure if it is interesting for others to read memories smth like 'i hated when I was wrapped in the sheets tight". Your observation that you often rehearsed mentally what had happened before is relevant to your ability to recall very early memories. Rehearsal contributes to memorability, so practicing that would have helped you retain those memories.