Sunday, December 1, 2013

JUST SAY IT!


Last week our daughter Kristee made a great point.  She said, "Why do we have to die before our friends and family say what wonderful individuals we were when we were alive?  Why can't we have our eulogies before we die so we can appreciate what people say about us?" To make that point she started telling all her friends and family on Facebook what they meant to her.  The response was an avalanche of 44 friends and family who wrote beautiful 'eulogies' back or 'LIKED' what she said. It was quite amazing really.

Over Thanksgiving dinner we had the opportunity to express our thanks for our many blessings.  It has also encouraged us to appreciate the people who enrich our lives.  Were you the recipient of appreciation this Thanksgiving?  Didn't it feel good?  I bet you will never forget those words of praise.

It often feels awkward to tell someone what you love about them.  The important thing is to do it.  When you declare your gratitude or praise someone, it gives them a great sense of worth.  Face to face communication allows you not only to say what you want, but also to reach out and hug that person as your endorsement.  Everyone loves affection.

You can also write your feelings down on a card and send or give it to that other person.  I have many cards of love from my children and also some from friends or from work.  I never threw them away.  They are in my 'brag' file and whenever I feel a need to, I visit those words of love - it is the gift that keeps giving.

How can we teach our children to express their love and appreciation toward others?
Here are some suggestions.

a) Train your children to be positive in their everyday conversation, rather than being critical and 
     making hurtful comments.
b) Make it a habit (say once a month) where the family sits around the table, and one by one say
     something positive about the person to their right.  (Get them to look that person in the eye
     when they speak).  Do not allow any negatives.  One month you could have the positive
     statements and the next month each person could say what they are grateful for.  By doing
     this you will enhance family life, your children will grow up being grateful adults and you and
     your children will always know they are loved.
c) Make supporting one another's interests and successes, a family thing.  Celebrate achievements
    together.  Parent to parent, parents towards kids, kids to one another and kids to parents.
d) Get kids to write notes of love and appreciation to external family and friends.
e) When friends and family visit your home or your family visits theirs, teach your kids to greet
    them with a smile and tell them you are pleased to see them.  It should be an expectation that kids
    are included in greeting others, rather than them being ignored by adults, or their being allowed to
    ignore visitors.

By encouraging family members to express their love and appreciation, they will continue this very
important ingredient in giving others value.
    
Written by Sally and Brian Burgess

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