Life is challenging! Keeping up with family chores is not always fun. What is a simple thing you can do to encourage your family and make their efforts worthwhile?
Express appreciation for what they do. Appreciation inspires people and motivates them to keep up the good work.
At our home, we thank each other for the everyday tasks we do. For example we thank the kids, “Thank you Michael for doing the dishes. Thank you Alex for taking out the trash. Thank you Ingrid for helping with dinner. Thank you Michelle for taking Emmy (the dog) out for a walk.”
In turn, they say things like, “Thank you dad for taking me to the soccer game” or at mealtime the kids say, “Thanks mom for the good dinner.”
One expression of appreciation can be a treasure you hang on to carry your through the rougher times. One example for me was when the other day my oldest son Alex said to his younger brother and sister, “Mom, made delicious bean soup today. You need to thank her for her care for us. She’s a good mom, even though sometimes she gets annoying about us going to bed. It’s just because she wants the best for us.” I chuckled on that one. But it felt good to know that even with bedtime resistance, the care is noticed and appreciated.
If your kids don’t thank you and each other, teach them.
How to teach them?
- Teach them by example by thanking them. As the saying goes, “Catch them doing what is right.” The more you appreciate their good behavior, the more likely they are to repeat it. The more they hear you thanking them, the more they will imitate you.
- Have talks about why it is important to say thank you to you and others. Prompt them to say thank you when they forget.
- Teach them the benefits. A grateful attitude will make them happy and healthy, they’ll have more favor with others and will enjoy life more.
Everyone needs to be appreciated. Start at home and then your children will learn to express gratitude to others as well.
The habit of expressing appreciation will build up your family, motivate them and keep things running smoother.
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29 (NIV)