Dad was Cool, Mom was a Geek, and Other Things Our Kids Know About Their Family History

Yesterday, I wrote a post about a recent study showing that one of the best ways to teach our children resilience is to help them get acquainted with their family history.

Shirley's sixth BD_3

The captain’s mother at her sixth birthday party. Isn’t she cute?

The researchers asked their test subjects 20 questions about their family and then did other tests to measure their emotional health. They found that those that knew more about their family history were happier and had a better sense of self than those that didn’t.

So last night, curious to know how much our children knew, we asked our children the same 20 questions.  This is what we discovered.

1.  Our children know more than we thought they did, even though some of the details were a little sketchy.  When I asked one son what he knew about when he was born, he said, “I had a yellow foot.”  Close enough.  He had jaundice.

2.  They thought the captain was freaking awesome and their mom was a total nerd.  When we asked them to share some things that had happened to their mom and dad when they were in school, my boys answered, “Uh, Mom won a lot of spelling bees, and Dad was an All-American water polo player!  AND he was prom king!”   The captain nodded his head in agreement.  They got that right.

Family with three children_2

The captain is the one climbing up the tree. And he only got hotter in high school. Unfortunately, there were no pictures to be found of me.

3.  They reinforced the fact that the captain was cool and their mom was a nerd.  The captain worked as a summer lifeguard (great tan included) while their mom worked at Pizza Hut.  What I would give to go back in time and pretend to drown in the captain’s pool.  Sigh.

4.  Ricky and Deborah knew nothing.  We’ve got time.


Darling but clueless.

5.  When we asked them why they were given their names, Davy blurted, “I was named after David from David and Goliath!”  The captain was greatly offended.

6.  Everytime they answered a question, the captain wanted to also answer the question with a much longer answer.  Mom finally had to reassure captain that he would have more time to tell these stories and that this was just a diagnostic test.   It was simply coincidence that I cut him off when he asked, “Want to know some of the other awards I earned?” and “My water polo coach was furious that I chose to life guard during the summer.  He wanted me to focus all of my time on water polo.”   Because he was such a totally rocking awesome athlete.  Hey, but I can spell cynosure and leviathan.   Bet the captain can’t do that.

What do your kids know about their family history?  Give them the 20 question test and tell us the results!

Want to know about the time I almost became cool?



  1. My children are all grown up now, and only groan when I start telling a family story. So I guess I have done my job. 🙂

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