Marissa, our youngest daughter, was home for the weekend. She’d been at college for over a year and occasionally came home on weekends to see high school friends, do laundry, and sometimes even hang out with Mom and Dad.
On one of those weekends, we managed to coax her to stay for a leisurely Sunday dinner and catch us up on all the latest events in her life. While the food was being dished onto the plates, she blurted out, “Let’s do Best Things! I’ve been missing it like crazy! Dad, you go first. What was your best thing?”
One of our long-time family traditions is called “Best Things.” Over the years, we found that by engaging the family in this little five-step practice, we could do more to affect our kid’s—and our own— outlook on life than just about anything else.
We usually did it at the dinner table and often several times a week. It’s a simple practice and apparently one the kids loved—even if they seemed to resist it at the time.
By asking everybody at the table one simple question, the emotional climate of the day could be completely turned into one of optimism and gratitude. It’s the fastest way I know of to ensure that anybody can have a great day.
Here’s how it works:
Step 1: Set the ground rules.
- Everyone will have a turn being asked one question.
- The respondent may only answer the specific question being asked.
- The question my not be altered.
- There will be one conversation happening at the table.
- One person speaks, all the others listen.