Practicing the Examen
My third grader likes to talk to me while we’re driving in the car. We cover a variety of topics — from how he played chase at recess with his classmates to whether or not I think he could actually build his own Star Wars pod racer. His back-seat conversations are mostly surface talk. I have to dig deeper to find out what he’s really feeling.
I recently started practicing the examen with him before he goes to sleep at night. With only a nightlight shining in his room, we each share the highlight and lowlight of our day. It’s been so revealing to hear what meant the most to him, as well as what troubled him.
I got teary-eyed when he said that just spending time with me was the highlight of a jam-packed day. Chores end up on his lowlight list quite frequently. And following his grandfather’s death, he added another category called “burned-out lights.”
This practice has not only opened a window into my son, but also has helped me to realize the highlights and lowlights of my week and caused me to pray more specifically.
You’ll find the details of how to practice the examen with your children in the article, “Highlights and Lowlights” by Kimberlee Conway Ireton.