By: Laura Walton AFC®
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.
You can’t cram for this test! An important aspect is that the information be passed down time and again. The setting is usually family gatherings over the holidays but any gathering is an opportunity.
What does this have to do with personal finance? We’ve just been through yet another Great Depression. Rather than avoid the subject, your kids will benefit from understanding how you and other family members coped with your hardships. Your experiences will help them to navigate their own inevitable hardships in years to come.
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 tomorrow!