In research done on kids and resilience, that is, the ability to overcome difficulty, researchers discovered an odd connection: Kids who scored highest on the "Do You Know Score" recovered more quickly from national trauma. What's the "Do You Know Score," you're asking? It's just simple questions like,
Do you know where your grandparents grew up?
Do you know where your mom and dad went to high school?
Do you know how your parents met?
Do you know of an illness or something really terrible that happened in your family?
What is surprising is that the more kids knew about their families, the more they were able to spring back from difficulties. How can knowing about your granny's growing up help? Psychologists suggest that it's because knowing about his family gives a kid a sense of attachment, belonging . . . and so much the better if he knows the story of how they overcame past challenges.
So, now the BEST idea in a long time:
STORY CORPS - GREAT THANKSGIVING LISTEN
Story Corps has joined with the Library of Congress (whose mission it is to keep a record of American life) to create a special activity and phone app. This is to encourage young people to interview their elders (great for Thanksgiving Day, right?). The phone app allows the kid to record the interview, take a snapshot of the pair AND upload it to the Library of Congress where it will be stored forever! Imagine. . . you child can take her grandchild to listen to your mom or dad maybe a century from now! PLUS that very excellent benefit of the gift of grit and resilience which knowing family stories will give your children. (just go online to https://storycorps.org/participate/the-great-thanksgiving-listen/ )
Why not give it a try? It's an activity the entire family might enjoy.
We'll be doing it at our house this year! Happy Thanksgiving!