We've been playing this 'game' at the dinner table since February, at first we did it every day and now over time we probably play it just once a week.
It takes no preparation, just a family sitting around a table eating dinner together...and it doesn't even need that!! We tend to do it when we've finished our meal or when we are waiting for pudding/sweet to be served (that makes us sound posh, like we have servants to tend to our every need, oh how I wish!!)
Anyway back to the real world where my kids are delightful, treat each other nicely and are angels all the time....oh how I wish, lol. Seriously though as I was reflecting on one of my children's behaviour and how negative comments seemed to be outweighing the positive ones, this idea just popped into my head (I love it when that happens).
The first time we played the game, I told everyone to stay seated after dinner and to look at the person opposite them and say 5 nice things about them and then for the receiver to do the same. Luckily we have eight people in our family, so we were all paired off. But if this doesn't work for you, then you could do it so that they say the 'sweet words' to the person to their left??
Some of our children had compliments flying here, there and everywhere...while some were struggling to come up with just one!! And even then, the so called lovely words were actually being a bit nasty....'Mum, dad, was I ever like this??!!!?'
So the next day we did it again...we heard 'yay, I love this game' vs 'groan, moan, not again!!!' But it was lovely, as they sat there the words were making them smile inside and out, so that the once grumpy faces were erased. Soon the negative feelings towards the game changed and everyone was making sure that they sat opposite different members of the family each night so that they could hear what they had to say about them. Our two youngest children proved to be the most popular to sit opposite, everyone loved being on the receiving end of their compliments as they were sooo from the heart :)
I love hearing my children say nice things to each other, and watching the heart of the receiver soften as they are being said. It's also nice to stop as a parent and just look at your beautiful child and see them full of goodness no matter what sort of day you've had with them.
The words of Proverbs 16:24 are still true today...
Pleasant words an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.