Works for Me: A Few of My Favorite Things

A few years ago at our house kids seemed grumpy and impatient with each other. I realized we were needing a morale boost and some positive energy flowing between us. I decided to try an idea that a school teacher friend had done with her students.

Each person in the family wrote down every other family member’s name on a piece of paper, and then after each person’s name they wrote down one thing they admired about that person. Big kids did their own writing and I let the little kids dictate to me.

I then compiled all the positive things about each person onto one sheet of paper and presented each person with this list of good things about him or herself. This simple exercise turned out to be an amazingly powerful moral boost. Each and every one of us found it extremely interesting to read the things that our family members valued about us. Years later, most of us have saved our letters.

Just the other day I was noticing some cranky attitudes between various ones of the children….. hmmm…. maybe it’s time to revisit this exercise and remember there ARE good things to admire… even in a sibling?

Encouraging family to appreciate each other: works for me!

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  1. What a sweet idea to help the family appreciate each other!

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  2. What a great idea!


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  3. What a great idea ~ I think I’ll give that a try in my own family! Have a wonderful day!!

  4. What a great idea! We’ve been experiencing some tenseness and squabbles around here. I’ve made some changes and I’m going to use this idea as well. I really like it!!

  5. tonsofsons says:

    Great idea! My boys have been driving me batty since we have been off of school and not in our usual routine. They have been fighting like cats and dogs. I will use your sweet suggestion today. Hopefully, I don’t have to pull out the comments every 1/2 hour. LOL!

  6. I’m going to have to try this. We’ve had a lot of cranky attitudes lately, and a lot of fighting amongst siblings.

  7. I love this idea!

  8. What a great idea. I could see this working with cranky employees in a business environment, too. And it would sure liven up those boring staff meetings!

  9. What a GREAT idea!! I love it. Thanks for sharing!

    Peace~ Wind

  10. Love it!

  11. Hello!

    I like your idea! It is so nice to see siblings loving each other. We used to fight like cats and dogs when I was little; thank goodness, we do not act like this today!

    Thanks for sharing,


  12. That’s a wonderful idea. Way to go Mary!

  13. I have done several versions of this. It’s amazing how well it works. We are all about love in our house. But even the most loving family can get cranky. When it gets really bad, we do the same thing, only we sit in a circle and say it to one another. It’s REALLY effective!!

  14. My girlfriends & I did this once at a weekend get-together and it was great (I have kept my list to help give me a boost when I’m feeling down). I’ve never thought about doing it with children- what a great idea! I’ll have to remember this one!

  15. Great idea! We do something similar in our house, except since our kids are little, we forgo the writing part. Instead, the 4 of us sit in the living room, with 3 people on the “listening couch” and one person on the “speaking chair.” The person on the chair has a chance to say what he/she likes about each of the other people in the family, including a character trait or a fun time they shared. Usually this session is followed by a lot of hugging and kisses all around.

    We also do the “speaking chair/listening couch” thing when we have a family dispute to settle. The important part is that only the person on the chair gets to do the speaking. That way everyone has a chance to get their side of the story heard, without people interrupting them with an argument.