The Name Game
(Part 3: Into the Open blog series)
by Stephanie Pericich
I have a brief exercise for you this month. I promise that it will take less than five minutes and will require no more than a piece of paper and a pencil or pen. Ready?
Part 1 of the exercise is to write your name. No matter if it’s printed or in cursive, or if you include your middle name or not– just write your name. Part 2 is to write your name again, but this time, use your other hand.
Unless you are ambidextrous, you probably noticed significant differences between writing your name the first and second times. I bet that it took longer to write with your non-dominant hand, and that there were differences in the quality of the two signatures. It likely felt uncomfortable to write your name the second time, and the discomfort may have been compounded by being caught off guard when you were asked to switch gears.
For me, this “name game” demonstrates the difference between preventative and reactive conversations with kids about drinking, smoking, vaping, and drug usage. I’ll be the first to admit that early talks with your kids on these topics may not be perfectly articulated or entirely comfortable, but there is a high probability that the early talks will go far more smoothly than if you wait until your kids are already engaging in these activities.
In part, this is because you have the luxury of thinking through – and maybe even practicing – what you will say during your proactive conversations, just as you have had ample time to practice writing your name. This of course is not the case for writing your name with your non-dominant hand, or initiating reactive conversations that by their very nature are on the fly.
I end this blog post with a challenge: Share this name game with at least one other person– a family member, a friend, a neighbor, or a colleague. It just may spark a great conversation.
Stephanie Pericich is a Parkway area wife, mother and an independent author of non-fiction and poetry. Ms. Pericich has volunteered to share her experiences and perspectives as a mother navigating the challenges of parenting for the purpose of encouraging community conversations about keeping kids safe and healthy.