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What’s on Your Child’s Mind?

by Sue Hubbard, M.D.

Do you remember the saying “a penny for your thoughts?”.  There are many of those old fashioned sayings that are no longer used, many of which have been replaced by witty text acronyms.

This saying came to mind recently while I was talking to a mother about her 5 year old daughter. She told me that she often finds her daughter lost in “deep” thoughts and that she will ask, “what you are thinking about?”.   It made me pause a moment, as I truly don’t remember if I ever just stopped and asked my own boys this question. I hope that I did, but if not, it was a missed opportunity.  I only wish I could rewind and remember.

While talking to this mother, she recounted how her daughter used to answer with things like, “ I am thinking about playing with our dog”, or “ I am thinking about the ice cream cone we just finished.”  Her answers were usually short, sweet and were often related to whatever activity she had just completed.

But now that she had started kindergarten her mother says that the answers are much more complex and interesting. When asked about her thoughts, which her mother says she makes sure to do once a day, the little girl will answer with things like, “ I am thinking about how many words end in ag”, or “ I am thinking about counting by 5’s”.  What fun to get a glimpse inside that kindergarten brain which is absorbing her new learning environment like a sponge and loving every minute!   This mom is trying to write down a few of these cute answers so that she can look back at these special memories one day. She is VERY organized!

So… ask your child of any age, “a penny for your thoughts?”. You may need to raise the ante for this decade, maybe a “dollar for your thoughts”, or an iTunes song download for your thoughts”, (especially for that teen group) but you may get a glimpse into your child’s/adolescent’s mind and start a great conversation.

You can’t go back in time but you can start now! I may take my own advice and the next time I see my boys I think this will be one of my new lines!

That’s your daily dose for today.  We’ll chat again tomorrow.

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