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I often hear from other women about compliments and how they have a hard time giving them. Not because they don’t want to or because they don’t think the nice things. I think we all think nice things all the time–we just don’t say them nearly as often as we think them.
Then the conversation turns to how silly it is that we don’t just say the compliment we are thinking because what does it hurt? How hard is it?
The other night, I attended a class on marriage. The presenters had some tips on parenting also. One thing the woman talked about was levels of communication. I won’t go into all of it, but she pointed out that complimenting a person is a deeper level of communication, and one that often makes us uncomfortable. The reason is we feel vulnerable when we compliment, so people really only feel comfortable complimenting if they feel secure in the relationship. She then pointed out the importance of complimenting our spouses and our children, and that if done so, it would bring our relationships closer together.
That sparked an idea in my head. My husband was with me in the class and agreed to my idea.
Here is our newest family tradition. I can’t yet testify to the power of the tradition–we haven’t been doing it long enough. But I have seen such wonderful results so quickly, and I feel like it is such a great idea, that I didn’t want to wait to tell you. I want you to know now. It is very simple.
Each night at family prayer, we kneel in a circle (this is old tradition). The new part is we now each offer a compliment to another member of the family. I think the easiest way to do this would to go down the line and on the first night, everyone compliments Dad. The next, everyone compliments Mom. Next, Brayden, etc. It would be esaiest to remember who gets the compliments that night.
But I think it would be very beneficial to the family to each get a compliment each day.
So we are rotating. Night one went like this:
Mom complimented Dad
Dad complimented Brayden
Brayden complimented Kaitlyn
Kaitlyn complimented McKenna
McKenna complimented Mom
Mom complimented Brayden
Dad complimented Kaitlyn
Brayden complimented McKenna
Kaitlyn complimented Mom
McKenna complimented Dad
So each night, the right column moves up one. This is similar to how many families alternate gift exchanges from Christmas to Christmas.
Do you want to know what McKenna said to me night one? “I like that you are a friend of Jesus.” Isn’t that one of the sweetest things a child could say to a parent?
I encourage you to try it. My children just light up when they hear the compliment given them.