Feeling disconnected from your loved ones or from each other? Try this!

So it’s 2017, a new year; the holidays are over and it’s back to school, back to work, back to our busy lives. Though the pace of life is picking up, this does not mean that we have to sacrifice family connection that maybe we had the luxury of experiencing during the holidays.

A quick, simple way to maintain family cohesion and connectedness is by taking a small amount of time each day, each week or whatever works into your family’s schedule to do a round of family compliments. This means that one family member would start and identify a compliment for each family member present (or it even can be done for members who are not present and someone can be designated as the messenger to pass on these compliments) and then will finish with a compliment for him or herself. Then another family member will do the same thing and then another family member until everyone has shared.

These compliments do not have to be super elaborate and a round of compliments only has to take 2-5 minutes depending how many members are present. Compliments highlight a positive aspect describing the way someone looks, what someone has, what someone does, or the way that someone is. Usually the more specific the compliment, the more impactful. For example, I could tell my husband “I really appreciate you cleaning the garbage can yesterday” (compliment about something that he did) or I could tell my nephew, “I appreciate your kindness; you giving the Kindle to your brother when he asked was really cool” (compliment about the way he is and a specific example to back it up).

Studies show that giving compliments provides benefits to both the compliment giver and compliment receiver

(see https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/200403/the-art-the-compliment for more information) and are a good way to combat disconnectedness that our busy lives can sometimes create.

So go forth, and make 2017 the year of compliments!