Generational Wisdom: Do You Know?
Sarah Fontenot | July 03 2019
Could something as simple as sharing family stories around the dinner table or while on vacation significantly and positively impact your kids?
I explored this idea in my last blog, which looked at the power that sharing the family’s narrative can have on your children.
I cited a study conducted by Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush. This team developed the “Do You Know” scale – a series of twenty questions designed to measure how much family history a child knew. Children who scored higher on the “Do You Know” scale exhibited a host of positive benefits including higher self-esteem and lower levels of anxiety.
So, what twenty questions did Dr. Duke and Dr. Fivush ask the kids? How can you test your kid’s knowledge of the family history?
The “Do You Know” Scale
- Do you know how your parents met?
- Do you know where your mother grew up?
- Do you know where your father grew up?
- Do you know where some of your grandparents grew up?
- Do you know where some of your grandparents met?
- Do you know where your parents were married?
- Do you know what went on when you were being born?
- Do you know the source of your name?
- Do you know some things about what happened when your brothers or sisters were being born?
- Do you know which person in your family you look most like?
- Do you know which person in the family you act most like?
- Do you know some of the illnesses and injuries that your parents experienced when they were younger?
- Do you know some of the lessons that your parents learned from good or bad experiences?
- Do you know some things that happened to your mom or dad when they were in school?
- Do you know the national background of your family (such as English, German, Russian, etc.)?
- Do you know some of the jobs that your parents had when they were young?
- Do you know some awards that your parents received when they were young?
- Do you know the names of the schools that your mom went to?
- Do you know the names of the schools that your dad went to?
- Do you know about a relative whose face “froze” in a grumpy position because he or she did not smile enough?
Score: Total number answered Y. 
Interestingly enough, how accurate the children are in retelling the story isn’t crucial. The key is that each questions tests your child’s knowledge of matters they could not have learned firsthand. In other words, they had to have been told the story to know the story.
So how did you do? How about your kids? I encourage you to take time this week to tell one or two of the above stories or come up with your own. You never know where the conversation may take you!
I scored sixteen out of twenty. I need to go ask my parents about their first jobs!
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