Give Your Brain a Kiss


About twice a month I volunteer for an hour in my son’s kindergarten class to assist in Math Centers. When I am actually running a tad early (which is super rare) I get to see their pre-Math Centers ritual, which includes a preview of the assignments they’ll be completing as they rotate around the room and a sweet prayer that cleverly weaves math-related words into the petition, “Lord, may we add love to the world, subtract evils …” You get it. It’s adorable.

Watching my son’s teacher manage 17 five- and six-year-olds is like watching a conductor — a conductor whose musicians can’t sit still, play their instrument at random times, and sometimes wet their pants. I am constantly in awe. One of the tricks she has for giving encouragement to each child while still maintaining some semblance of order is, “Give your brain a kiss.”

Here’s how it works. If she asks the class a question and hands go up, she calls on one student. That student gives the answer (hopefully the correct one) and she instructs the other littles, “If you knew the correct answer, give your brain a kiss.” It’s just about the cutest thing you’ll ever see — they touch the tips of their fingers to their lips, give a smooch and then tap their heads to transfer the love. It’s a sweet little pat on their own backs.

“Give your brain a kiss” is nice way for the kids to acknowledge they knew the answer without shouting out “I knew that too!” It got me to thinking about how I could incorporate this into my own life. The answer jumped out at me pretty quickly. Ego.

Not too long ago I read an examination of conscience about pride and one part hit me pretty hard: One sign that you have issues with pride is that you need people to know you know. If you struggle with allowing others to have the answer or if you always want those around you to be aware that you have the same (or more) knowledge than them, then you might have a pride issue. And trust me, this is an issue that can come back to bite you and make you look like a total dummy (yes, I’m speaking from experience).

So I’m thinking that I’ll give the whole “Give your brain a kiss” thing a try next time I want to blurt out an answer or prevent someone else from thinking they know more than me. I don’t think you’ll see me tapping my fingers on my head, but I can say a quick prayer, “Thank you God for giving me that knowledge too, and for putting people in my life who have gifts to share.”

Do you have any strategies for defeating pride?


Copyright 2018 Abby Watts


About Author

Abby Brundage Watts is a mother of two little boys. Since January of 2008 she has hosted The Big, Big House Morning Show on Spirit FM 90.5, the radio ministry of the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg in Florida. The show mixes inspiration, humor and family fun (and great music of course)! You can hear Abby every weekday 6-10am, EST and online at She also is the co-creator of the podcast, Perhaps This Is the Moment. You can find it on all the podcast platforms.


  1. I thought of this article this morning when my husband tried an effective parenting strategy that I use often with our toddler. As he was patting himself on the back, I wanted to say, “yeah I do that all the time!” Instead I said, “good I’m glad it worked.”

    • Hi Jackie – YES! That’s a struggle all parents face. Allowing the other parent to do their part without us correcting or taking credit.

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