As young people we are like magnets walking through our early lives collecting bits and pieces from our environments. A mealtime conversation here. An overheard joke there. Some pieces don’t fit well - but they stick just the same. Over time our extended families frame our habits and inform our sense of belonging. They send us off to school and beyond with a starter kit. What is in your starter kit - what were those idiosyncrasies that made you you?
It can be little things coming across generations that establish what we see as normal. Are little kids celebrated when they cling to older relatives or are they discouraged? Do they hear “I’m sorry” - even from grown-ups? What makes people laugh? Who gets ridiculed? Not lessons taught - but lessons lived.
Are you ready to explore your own starter kit?
It can be easier than you think and is guaranteed to be fun. It’s all about knowing where to look and what to ask. Ta-da. Culture Sleuthing.
Conversations that get in touch with long ago. Imagine a conversation with Aunts and Grandmas about what being a girl meant way back then - and how those lessons may drive them still.
Or a conversation with Uncles and Grandpas about what being a boy meant back then .... I promise you, how they felt when they were young is in YOUR starter kit. Your magnet surely picked it up. We humans know that life is complex and we pick up clues …
Read more about ways to gather and explore …
It's all about the questions
...questions that bring those players in our early lives back to the table to revisit THEIR early experiences. Questions that show interest and respect. Questions that expose how much alike we all are.
Kids make great sleuths too. As a matter of fact, older relatives seem to melt when a child asks, “Did kids tease you when you were little like me? How did it feel?”
Not only can you include them in your conversations, we will soon offer a series of Culture Sleuth Books
that teach and prepare them to do more sleuthing on their own.
When you were a kid like me, what kinds of clothes did you wear? What did you notice about what other kids wore? Did you ever get teased about your clothes?
Tell me about your first school dance. Was it scary? Fun?
What language did your parents speak when they were kids? (Remember you are asking grandpa what language his parents spoke.) Did they speak that language to you? What language(s) can you speak?
Tell me about a book that made you see things differently.
Do you ever tell white lies? Can you tell me about some of them?
Tell me about where your ancestors came from? What do you know about these countries? Are you proud of those parts of you?
Did you have friends who were richer or poorer than you? Tell me about visiting their homes. What did you notice?
Can you share a favorite prayer or reflection?
Did your parents have strong feelings about how boys and girls should behave differently? Do you?
What does it mean you need to do when you are a member of a team? What lessons do you learn when you are on a team?