Building Bridges was introduced at the Akanksha schools in India, with the objective of creating a safe space for parents and children to connect and break down barriers in communication. Akanksha parents of all grades are invited to come to the school twice a semester to participate in this exercise. Each Building Bridges meeting aims to facilitate open and heartfelt sharing of thoughts between the parent and the student. Akanksha parents have found that it has changed their relationship with their children in unexpected ways.
We encourage you to try out this exercise with any of your loved ones. You can follow the steps below to recreate the exercise at home.
- Participants sit across from each other, holding each other’s hands and making eye contact.
- They then ask each other the same questions and take turns to answer.
- Open the conversation with ‘How was your day? Tell me about a moment today when you felt the happiest and one moment that made you sad.’
- You can choose 2-3 other questions to ask of each other. Some examples are below:
- Who is your hero? Why do they inspire you?
- What is a success story you have from the past month/year?
- What is a disappointment you had over the past month/year? What did you do to help get over that disappointment? How can I help?
- What do you love and respect most about me?
- Close the conversation with ‘What is the one new thing you learned about me today?’ OR ‘How do you feel about this exercise?’
- Akanksha teachers recommend making a token for each session, to put somewhere in the house to remind parents and children of the commitments they made to each other during this exercise.