Want to focus on the good in your relationship? It is so easy to get stuck in the “negative”. So for many of us finding concrete ways to do this is helpful. The more we focus on the GOOD the more we get of it. It is the basic law of attraction.
One activity that you might consider is to create a Weekly Jar of Blessings. This can be used as a Couple or as a Parent / Child Activity. I would think that mid elementary children could participate easily in this activity.
1. Use a pretty jar or container to place what you feel are your “relationship blessings” as they occur during the week.
2. Simply write down on a piece of paper what you appreciate that your spouse or partner (or child) has done that you feel like is a blessing (this may be phrased as a compliment or acknowledgment of something that you appreciated)
OR write down something you have done together that you enjoyed.
Note: Do this as it occurs each day or as soon as you can so you can remember these special things you are doing for each other or have chosen to do together to keep your relationship strong and healthy.
Some examples of Appreciation:
FOR COUPLES “Thank you _____________ for taking time to make me my favorite Italian meal. It hit the spot and was comforting on what was otherwise a hard day.” OR “Thank you _________________ for listening to me when I was so upset about the phone call from the school.”
FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN OR TEENS “Thank you _________ for helping to clean the house today. It was such a big help.” Dad OR “Thank you ____________ for taking time to tell me about what was going on at school today. I love to hear about what your day is like.” Mom
Some examples of Acknowledging What You are Doing as a COUPLE or PARENT / CHILD OR TEEN to Stay Connected:
FOR COUPLES ” ___________ I was so excited we took the time to have a date night tonight. These times out mean a lot to me.” OR “____________I love how we cooked our supper together tonight. It gave us extra time to talk and be with each other.” OR “___________Having some grownup talk after the kids were in bed last night felt so nice.”
FOR PARENTS AND CHILDREN OR TEENS ” ___________, I am so glad we all went to the park today. It was so much fun hanging out together. Mom” OR ” ______________, I love reading books with you before we go to bed at night.” Dad
Note: Signing and dating your notes can add a layer of meaningfulness if you want to look back at your notes later.
3. Place your Weekly Jar of Blessings in a Prominent Place. This can be a nice reminder that GOOD things are happening!
4. Take time at the end of the week to take a look together at what you did that mattered and what each of you appreciated about the other. If you are doing a parent / child or family jar of blessings, you will want to make sure you have been fairly even as to your compliments or comments to the different children in your family.
5. Empty your jar of weekly blessings into a larger container or box, etc that will hold a large amount (maybe for the year or whatever you feel makes sense) and then store these away. You can label your box with a label “Weekly Blessings – February 2014 to February 2015”.
6. Then start your weekly blessing jar again for the next week.
This is a lovely way to really appreciate each other and find out what helps you to stay connected. When we write something it seems to create a deeper memory and have a more lasting effect. So even though this may mean a bit of effort it is so worth it!
You may find your own version of this Weekly Jar of Blessings. Do what fits for you. It may mean an abbreviated version of what is outlined above. Here are to many voiced words of appreciation and acknowledgments of all the GOOD that is going on in your relationship.
Note: I would like to give credit to Jennifer Grace for the foundation idea of using a jar to collect good feelings.