Another Great Question to Ask Your Children (or Anyone!)

Last night my friend shares with me a great question to ask friends and family. Here it is:

What three words would you use to describe your life right now? 

When I ask my own children and husband at bedtime, I’m amazed with how quickly they answer. I’m amazed at the diversity of responses. I’m amazed with how deeply I’m able to enter into their reality with just that simple question.

Even the youngest knows how she feels about her life and why. It’s like she was waiting for someone to ask her. I won’t share everything she said, but one of her words was interesting.

Even my husband–who normally takes his sweet time processing–produces three clear and telling words. One of his words was shalom. 

My other daughter, shockingly, said shadowed. She, even after all this time, holds the Penn State scandal in her heart. She doesn’t like to tell new friends when we travel that we’re from Penn State because of comments or jokes. I had no idea.

My three words? Hopeful, joyful, and curious. 

And of course, you follow up these words with a series of questions that will lead you to great family conversations. “Why did you pick that word? What do you mean by that word? Tell us more!”

This is a great question to ask while enjoying your July 4th celebrations.

Happy 4th!

You know I’m going to ask it: What three words would you use to describe your life right now?

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  1. I tried this last night around the dinner table — visiting with our daughter who just gave birth to their fourth child. Only I forgot and changed the the question to describe yourself. Round the table we went, from our oldest granddaughter, age 7, to my husband, grandson, daughter, my husband, son-in-law, his mother, and our three year old granddaughter.
    It would have been better had I remembered the question was describe your life — BUT — it was wonderful, especially when the littlest one who wears glasses, gazed deeply into my eyes, (I wear glasses) and shouted “Glasses!”