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What is Your Earliest Memory?

Updated on May 31, 2011

Mine is when I was 3 yrs. We lived in Virginia near Ft. Eustis, we had bamboo furniture but I distinctly recall one winter day after it has snowed. Wearing my snowsuit, my mom let me and my brother out (cabin fever, no doubt!). My brother soon left me on my own as he always did, so I wondered down the sidewalk until I came to a bench. There, I climbed up and gazed out over what seemed to me as an ocean of snow. It reminded me of a white blanket and marshmellows. I recalled what I had actually thought. It was, " I wondered if I jump into the blanket of snow, would it  actually hold me like a mattress".  As soon as I built up  my nerve, I dove into the 3ft. snow, as if i was jumping into a swimming pool. Naturally, it was not what I thought and I ran home to seek comfort from mom.

Seems ages 3 or 4 is the earliest age that most people recall their earliest memories. Some can recall things as early as age 2, but, researchers have found out that by age 10, many of them are forgotten. Researchers asked 140 kids what their earliest memories were and then these were verified with their parents. Researchers found out that by age 10, your brain has cemented your earliest memories of life. Researchers suggest that parents should talk about their child's earliest memories with them for it helps create importance of it in the child's own mind, and as time flies, the memory will stick. Researchers also think that memory is also tied into the development of speech and self, which starts around 3 yrs. Traumatic events to children are most  often seared into their memory, as well. How often does a parent recall the same event differently than the child who was also there? Numerous times. Children seem to store memories differently than adults. Also, memories are frequently distorted from the actual facts of an event over time if the memory is booted up frequently enough, it becomes hard to tell what was the truth in the memory.

Researchers also found that memories are selective depending on the impact to those in it. That is why parents will recall an event and the child has no recall about it, or vice versa. My own daughter, now 12, seems to validate the study. She cannot recall any childhood memory earlier than 3 yrs. old. One of her earliest memories then was singing, The Beatles, "Yellow Submarine" song.


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    • frugalfamily profile image

      Brenda Trott, M.Ed 

      7 years ago from Houston, TX

      As a parent, I wondered about spending resources to give my 2 year old an experience on a ride or a horse. I knew she wouldn't remember it, but I would!

    • perrya profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago

      My next early memory was in Kindergarten.

    • fucsia profile image


      7 years ago

      I have not many memories on my childhood but I can still see my granfather sitting in his armchair with his inseparable cigarette and I still feel the smell of that room.

      Thanks for this blast from the past!

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      one of my first memories was when I was three also. My grandfather was not well and lived in the front duplex with my grandmother. He asked to see his grandkids one more time, so we stood in front of his bed. I remember being uncomfortable. Probably why I remember it.

    • NewLifeOnRoad profile image


      7 years ago

      I have no early memories - yet my hubby does!!


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