Ping. Pong. Score!


“How was school?”

“What happened at school today?”

“What did you learn in class?”
I dunno.

And so it begins. The WhatHappenedTodayAtSchool? ping-pong match.
We try. Oh, how we try. But the thing is, we are asking them about what they did. And that isn’t what our brain thinks is the important stuff. What gets to the heart of the matter? What they felt. It’s true. Researchers from the University of Toronto published study results that showed that how deeply you feel about an event “actually influences…how vividly you can recall it later.”

I’ve had this idea swirling in my mind for a few weeks, and I thought I’d better try it out on my guinea pigs own kids before suggesting it. Tonight at dinner was our first trial.

“Did you see anyone today who was embarrassed?”
“Ooooh, yes! There is a new student…”
“You’ll never believe what happened to my friend…”
“I had a colleague who…” {my husband joined right in}
“I was embarrassed when…”
“As we were running in cross country, I…

And even though I had asked if they had seen someone else who had felt embarrassed, both kiddos went on, unprompted, to tell a story about when they were embarrassed today, too.

Through the retelling of the emotions, we heard all about the events of the day.
Parenting score #1.
We also made it through an entire meal without any bickering.
Parenting score #2.

Want to join me and give it a try? {worried you’ll run out of feelings? Here’s a list of over 250}. At the end of the week, tally your score. And keep me posted.

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