By: Laura Walton AFC®
The #1 family entertainment this Thanksgiving doesn’t cost a dime! It’s the “Do You Know” game. Kids that know the most answers to questions about their family win not only the game but, it seems, they win in life. Studies show they are better able to take life’s challenges in stride. Why is this and what are the 20 questions?
It started with the work of psychologists Dr. Marshall Duke and his wife, Sara. She worked with learning-disabled kids and noticed that the ones who knew more about their families had better outcomes.
As a result, Marshall Duke created a 20-question test called “Do You Know”. The answers couldn’t be something the kids would know firsthand; it had to test them on information that was passed down from family members like how their parents met or which family member they acted most like.
It seemed that the children who knew more about their families had a stronger sense of control over their lives, higher self-esteem, believed their families were happier and were more resilient to life’s stresses.
Many families share the stories of their ancestors’ success after a difficult start in this country (ascending family narratives) or, on the other hand, stories of losing everything in the Great Depression (descending family narratives). The most helpful stories are of the ups and downs of life (the oscillating narrative) because they demonstrate the ability to overcome hardships.
We’re experiencing difficult times – lost jobs, lost wages, an uncertain economy, social unrest and a worldwide pandemic. A positive way to acknowledge these current hardships is learning how family members coped with difficulties in the past. Your family’s “oscillating narrative” can help all family members to better manage through these days.
Question #20 is “Do you know about a relative whose face “froze” in a grumpy position because he or she did not smile enough?” This shows how family stories are sometimes exaggerated. The eccentric relative is just another way we are bound to each other – have fun talking about yours this Thanksgiving!