We’re going to keep this one short and sweet.
We had a rough evening. Everyone was tired, grumpy, hungry, and irritable (except Cecilia, because she is always “peaches and cream”).
Dishes clashed, voices got louder, and maybe a door slammed.
Then, after dinner, dishes, and homework, during a moment of peace, we did one thing that changed it all.
The key to NOT going to bed mad is Acknowledgment.
We’re going to teach you a little formula to acknowledge someone.
It may seem a little weird to follow a formula, however this technique really works to get the love flowing between two kids who, just moments before, were fighting about clearing the table.
- Set up: With kids (and sometimes spouses) you start by making sure that they want to be in this conversation. You can say something like, “We all had a tough night. Do you guys want to play a talking game that’ll take 5 minutes and help us go to bed loving one another, rather than being grumpy with each other?”
- Say what you appreciate about the other person. Make it specific and talk about something that they did (instead of just their personal qualities). Start with: “I appreciate you / Thank you for…(action) …because (impact their actions had on your life).”
- The person receiving the acknowledgement summarizes it for the sender like this: “You’re appreciating me for…
- If the “receiver” misses a part then the “sender” says it again, so the receiver can really absorb it.
- Each member of your family does this for each other member of your family. And then just sit back and watch the love flow again.
Alana, thank you for doing the dishes tonight especially because I know you didn’t want to. It really helps out the whole family, most of all me, when you do the dishes. I don’t always thank you for it, but I want you to know that I do appreciate it.
Here’s a real life example-
We appreciate YOU for reading our emails and blog posts because we are passionate about families having lives that they love.
When you write back to us or leave comments it totally makes our day. It makes all of our hard work worth it. And it brings tears to our eyes when we hear of your successes whether you are in the Netherlands, New Zealand, Nepal or Northridge.
Cecilia and Jason