Family dynamics are interesting. The people who supposedly love you the most in the world, also know exactly what to say or do to make you feel the most unloved. Sadly, we have all been guilty of saying something hurtful to a spouse, parent or sibling. In some families, it quickly becomes a bad habit. Everyone feels safer taking their frustration, hurt and anger from their day and punishing family members with it – even when they had absolutely nothing to do with it.
There’s a fun way to flip that dynamic and make your family a place where the members come home to be loved, encouraged and built up to face the world another day. It’s simple, cheap and can even become an ongoing family project.
Grab some cute blank books. You can find these cheaply at Target dollar spot or at craft stores like Michael’s. Have each family member decorate their book in any way they would like. Have a short devotional explaining that each family member is to write encouraging messages to the person in their book. It can be a scripture, a complement, or just encouragement. (“I know you will do great on the test this week – you’ve studied so hard!)
Want to continue the positive messages? Place the books and some pens in a place where everyone will see them. Encourage people to write in other’s books whenever they think of something kind and loving to say. (This is not an assignment for a punishment!) Watch as people sneak from time to time and read what others have written.
At some point, come back together and talk about how writing and reading in the books made everyone feel. Encourage everyone to become better at immediately verbalizing these positive things to the person in addition to or instead of waiting to write it in their book. You may just find the atmosphere in your home improving and the books becoming treasured mementos to be read on tough days long after leaving home.