new guy, here. Might stick around for a while, though, we'll see. I was perusing the Internet for ideas about variables to collect about one's own child(ren), that you can later present to said child(ren) to have fun together (or maybe only the parent has fun with it, we can't predict what children will think is fun, right). The problem I have, is that when I type:

Fun statistics to record about one's own children

(or similar) into a search engine, I get a lot of search results with statistics about childhood, child poverty, how to get children excited about statistics and/or data analysis, etc., i.e., a lot of sites with stats about children. That's not the search engine's fault, it's just hard to word my will to tickle what I want out of the search engine. Even on this here site, when I typed in the topic of my question, the "similar questions"s first entry was "Where can I find statistics about child abuse offenders?"… I mean, no, that is not what I am looking for, thanks.

What I am looking for is a set of variables I can start to record starting at birth and going on for years, until Gyermek (that's not their actual name) is old enough to at least understand what a number is. In other words, what would you have wanted to record about your kid that would be fun to look at in a time series or in a contingency table, ideally also with them, when they are old enough?

Possible variables that come to mind:

  • daily number of poops
  • daily number of tantrums thrown
  • daily calories ingurgitated
  • baby clothes washed
  • time napping
  • number of naps
  • daily things broken
  • messyness of bedroom
  • toys owned
  • sum worth of toys
  • sum worth of toys broken or lost
  • number of profanities uttered
  • number of lies uttered
  • reason for lying
  • chores done
  • time spent on chores
  • number of critter pets owned
  • number of arms (legs, eyes, fingers. Hopefully constants, but who knows!)
  • inappropriate things mouthed
  • number of sensible arguments made
  • time spent outside
  • level of empathy shown towards others
  • time spent with grand-parents
  • time spent with other kids
  • money spent on child
  • child's bank account balance

I know these are a lot of suggestions. I was looking at the site tags for inspiration. Which of those would be impossible to track and why? A bunch of them would be rough estimates, for sure. I can't be recording my child's life all the time. I have a job, too.

I don't know if this sub-site is as strict as others in the SE universe about attracting "opinions", but from looking at the answers to other questions, it seems like there're a lot of opinions in the answers. I wouldn't expect anything else, actually.

  • 1
    If you could know things about your own childhood now, what would they be? For me, for example, I wouldn't mind number of times I surprised my parents by knowing a word I learned from a book, number of times I biked up to the candy store, number of times I worked in my grandma's garden... Apr 24, 2022 at 12:18

3 Answers 3

  • Photos and videos of the children. This is the easiest and the most obvious thing is to collect. Why do it systematically? (a) Parents do it anyways, (b) There is never enough of photos and videos for later perusal, provided they are not taken too close together in time and space (I never had time to sort the dups). (c) Some things are gone forever, unless you take care to capture them in photos or on video. For example, funny "baby" names that babies give to various things, until they learn to use proper names, or seemingly mundane moments, such as bath time and bed time, that seem in the moment to be too "ordinary" and "plain" - until they are gone, gone forever.
  • Height and weight are a few other obvious development markers. You can confirm growth spurts!
  • If you read and listen to music with kids at bedtime, write down what you are reading and listening to. It’s interesting to watch how these things change, and whether or not they have influence on the kids later in life. BTW, if you are not reading and listening to music with children, I highly recommend this practice from day 1. This develops in children love and appreciation of books and music. It makes learning to read easier, because it is child-driven. It develops a taste for diverse music, easily encompassing complex "adult" music, and going far beyond the so called "children's" music.
  • Happiness journal. This can take many forms. Do it for the child until they are old enough to write. One of the simplest forms is a Google docs spreadsheet with 1 row per day and 3 columns, where you record at least 3 good events or achievements that happened during that day. Recording mundane good events is encouraged. The goal is to learn to find joy in the current moment - even in the apparently unpleasant events. For example, "Walked in the park", "Had fever, but not too much, did not have to go to the doctor", "Read 'Goodnight, Moon'".
  • Typical schedule of the day You could write down a typical day's "process" of each period in their life. For example how long they slept in the morning, when they went to and came home from kindergarden/primary school/high school. If there are afterschool activities... When they will go to sleep, if they want you to read aloud, or if they would read themself. Choose one day (or month) each year and write down this unspectacular day. Because all changes smoothly you will not remember yourself when things changed. But with this month/day per year you could compare. Maybe you would use the same "form" to fill each year?
  • I just realized I should probably make this a community wiki, as there's no right or wrong answer to this question. EDIT: it seems I can't do that.
    – thymaro
    Apr 24, 2022 at 14:04
  • 2
    @thymaro I changed my answer to community wiki, hopefully it can attract other useful contributions and edits. It's an interesting question! Apr 26, 2022 at 14:43

When my niece was a little girl, she used to say really interesting things in all situations. We thought that we'd never forget them. She grew up and it turned out that we do not really remember much of what she said. Maybe less than 15 all family members combined.

When I had my own children, I made sure that nothing interesting they said would evaporate into nothingness. Whenever they said something funny or worth recording (the frequency is not that high), I used to slip away, quickly write it in my Evernote and come back. Later, I used to file everything into its proper place, one note full of stuff from each kid. Over time, that grew to hundreds of their sayings. We wouldn't have remembered more than 10 but now we know almost everything special they said. We will give those notes to them when they grow up.

This collection has been very precious to us. I just mention one random incident each from my kids as examples.

Daughter 1 - 01/2015: One day I explained her how earth's tilt with different parts coming closer and farther form the sun causes summer and winter seasons. Later on one summer night, I took her to a grocery shop and when we reached the freezer section for an ice cream, she gently said to me: "Papa, earth has gone farther away from the sun."

Daughter 2 - No record of date: One day she was grumpy about something. I asked her, "Do you want to put it behind you?" She replied, "No, then it will follow me!"

Son - 03/2017: My son was 3 when he asked me this question: "Air has no colors, why Papa, why?" (Most kids would say air is invisible, and I liked his imaginative way of phrasing this question).

All kids in the world have their unique perspectives and say things that have never been said in the world before. If you have some in family, I highly recommend this kind of recording that would nicely complement the photos and videos other kids would have.

It seems old fashioned but even now when I stumble upon any of this while organizing my Evernote, I feel overwhelmed with joy and love. They would appreciate it too in the later parts of their lives.


Special moments in life: First x where x is

  • tooth
  • crawling
  • walking
  • night slept through
  • time child goes to potty on its own
  • word (and which one)
  • "why" question (and which one)
  • day without crying or having any tantrums (I am really looking forward to it!)


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