This article originally appeared on The Sociable, a sister publication.
Research has shown that children who have a strong “family narrative” enjoy better emotional health.
In the late 90s’, psychologists Marshall Duke and Robyn Fivush of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, asked 48 families 20 questions about their family history. Their research found that the more the children knew about their family tree, the stronger their sense of control over their lives was, and by proxy the higher their self-esteem was.
KidQuest, a card game started by a mom and son combo, is a creative and engaging way for kids to learn about the world around them and further understand their family’s history. Serving as a conduit to talk about family members’ life experiences, the game stimulates important and dynamic conversations for learning in a way that is also fun.
Let’s take a look at how this simple set of cards is helping families to connect on new levels, and growing stronger relationships one game at a time.
Just as ancestral wisdom and heritage were passed on through word of mouth in yesteryear, getting together to share between families in the 21st century is also important to ensure that vital knowledge reaches the next generation.
KidQuest is on a mission to help kids connect more deeply with the grown-ups in their life in a manner that is stimulating and fun for everyone. Developed by seven-year-old Everest van der Zwan, with a little help from his Mom, the card game consists of 100 questions that kids ask the grown-ups in their life.
Focusing on eight different categories such as School Life, Home Life, Friends, Work, and Emotions—kids, or simply those that are young at heart can play anytime and anywhere.
Understanding what the grown-ups in their life have experienced through storytelling normalizes everyday experiences that kids could be going through, allowing for family members from every generation to connect as equals.
Emory Psychologist Duke confirms that discussing family dramas can fuel parent and adolescent interaction when the age of the bedtime story has passed. “And these stories do good even when the person is gone, we continue to learn from them.”
Each time the game is played, a new life journey is unlocked and it’s an open invitation to share life lessons and advice. Kids and teens may ask adults about their life experiences, whether good or bad, and hear about how they handled them and what they learned.
“Families often shield children from the truth but negative stories can be even more important than positive ones for fostering emotional resilience,” continued Duke. “The exact questions and answers don’t matter. They’re more to show a process has taken place, that of sharing the stories, and that the children feel they have a story to tell.”
According to Pew Research Center, US parents already thought their children spent too long in front of screens before COVID, which was obviously exacerbated by the pandemic. In March 2020, around a third believed their children had too much time playing video games or using smartphones, but this has increased to 51% and 42% since.
“The recent pandemic has been tough on families, and KidQuest is on a mission to bring back screen-free moments while also nurturing our children’s hearts and mental health,” said Ariane de Bonvoisin, mother co-creator of KidQuest. “Playing KidQuest lets children really get to know the important adults in their lives, in a new and different way than ever before.”
Ariane de Bonvoisin is a speaker on navigating change, children’s mental well-being, and is a go-to speaker on a number of other personal and professional change topics. Her ‘9 Principles of Change’ Workshop has become a cornerstone of her teachings and has received rave reviews giving her the opportunity to appear on dozens of TV and radio shows, and write articles for reputable publications such as Business Week and Reader’s Digest.
Using this background of health and wellness Ariane created the card game with her very own son to bring their own family back together in a fun and creative way—despite the doldrums of the pandemic. KidQuest also has the chance to personalize with whom and how kids want to connect to their family members with the option to not only choose a question they want to ask but also choose the person they ask it to.
There are even special cards that change the game: A Reverse Card where the adult can ask the kid a question, a Blank Card, where anyone can ask anything they are curious about, and the famous Celebration Card, where kids can ask for whatever they want! This opens up a fun freebie for kids to go wild with, staying up past bedtime to watch their favorite movie, pizza for breakfast, or taking a chore off their weekly list.
“Creating this game with my mom was really fun and I learned so much about what it takes to start a business. It was great to have a goal together during the pandemic,” added Everest van der Zwan, co-creator of KidQuest. “Getting to know my family better was so interesting. I found out that my 84-year-old grandfather did some naughty things as a kid and that my mom was bullied in school – two things I had no idea about. With every KidQuest question, I discovered things that helped me as a kid too!”
Growing Together Emotionally and Intellectually
According to the same Emory University study, “adolescents who report knowing more stories about their familial past show higher levels of emotional well-being and also higher levels of identity and achievement.”
Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, godparent, teacher, aunt, or uncle, this card game creates an opportunity to get closer with your kids, and foster their mental and emotional well-being now and in the future.
When kids get the chance to understand everything from how to make friends, save money, learn how to thrive at school, build their health, and understand relationships and emotions, they have the knowledge they need—from a resource they can trust—to take life head-on.
Play it for 5 minutes or 5 hours, KidQuest is a card game helping to keep both young and old minds alike curious. KidQuest is available on Amazon for a retail price of $19.99 and additional information can be found at KidQuest.me and on Instagram at KidQuestOfficial.
Disclosure: This article mentions a client of an Espacio portfolio company.