Here’s a little-known fun fact about Lucero: Long before we built an app, we created Quest Cards: a conversation card deck with questions that youth and families could use to spark conversations around the dinner table. With prompts like, “If your personality were a color, what would it be?” and “Tell a story about one of your happiest memories,” the cards were an easy way for families to connect with each other. The idea was simple, but Quest Cards were a hit!
About a year later, the Quest Card concept made its way into the design of Lucero’s Spark wheel. Co-created by licensed therapists and a team of youth advisors, Spark generates real-time, personalized suggestions for emotional regulation. Spark inspires self-reflection, but, like the Quest Cards, it can have an even deeper impact when it’s used as a family. Here’s how you can use Spark to create more authentic connection with your loved ones:
1. Sync up with no pressure.
Instead of feeling pressured to carve out extra time for conversation, start small and keep it simple with Spark. Take advantage of moments when you’re already together, like at the dinner table or in the car on the way to school. First select how you’re feeling as a family: Is everybody on the same page, or are you experiencing different emotions? Spin the Spark wheel and take turns answering the questions that pop up. Sharing feelings and self-care strategies gives you insight into each other\’s perspectives and keeps you close, even when life gets busy.
2. Have more meaningful conversations.
Relationships change in adolescence. Tweens and teens are wired to seek autonomy and privacy, but they also crave belonging and understanding. We often hear from youth, parents and caregivers that they want to have more connected conversations, but they don’t know where to start. Spark makes it easy because it’s gamified: Just spin the wheel and answer the questions! It’s designed to elicit more meaningful connections without either of you feeling awkward.
3. Create a bonding ritual.
It’s obvious, I know, but every human experiences emotions, all the time! It’s one of the few things we all have in common, regardless of age, background, or life experience. That makes our everyday emotions one of the most powerful places to bond with others and build empathy. Using Spark together makes checking in with our own and others’ feelings a personal habit and a family ritual. It’s a stealthy but surefire way to build emotional literacy and teach tweens and teens the superpower of empathizing with others.
4. Support each other with self-care.
Research suggests that social support increases our sense of purpose and self-efficacy. In other words, tweens and teens feel good when they know someone cares about them and has their back, and that increases their motivation to take care of themselves. Spark contains over 600 different research-backed emotional regulation activities co-created by certified clinical therapists and our youth advisory team. So each time families spin Spark, they’re gaining new tools to practice self-care together.
Whether used alone or with loved ones, Spark makes a big impact on emotional regulation. According to a 2023 pilot study, 60% of adolescent users reported feeling better after using Spark to address negative emotions. At Lucero, we believe that families can use simple tools like Spark to build closer, more authentic relationships and become each other’s radical support system. By celebrating self-care, building connection, and practicing emotional regulation skills together, you and your tween or teen can spark new healthy habits that lead to lifelong well-being.