A friend of mine invented a really cool parenting hack.
It’s so effective, in fact, that if it were possible, I would tell her to patent and market it.
You know how you want to teach your kids to say thank you? But ideally you want them to say it on their own, right?
So what happens when someone gives your kid a treat, and cute little Shloimy is so busy tearing the wrapper off that red and green lollypop that he seems to have forgotten the ‘say thank you’ rule?
And you help him out with “Shloimy, what do you say to the nice man?”
Only you know that kind of defeats the purpose. Because now Mr. Nice Man knows that it’s not Shloimy saying thanks on his own. He’s just saying it because Mommy prompted him.
So my friend came up with an ingenious solution. She developed a “sign language” and brushes her hand against her own cheek. That was her signal to the kid to “thank you.”
Happy mom. Happy Nice Man. Happy kid.
Funny, isn’t it, that sometimes we forget our own rules?
(Hey – maybe we did learn everything in kindergarten!)
Sure, you thank the delivery man, and the guy who holds the door for you, and the lady who scoops up your phone when it falls to the ground as you are juggling purse, baby, iced coffee and that precariously opened bag of strawberry flavored bamba.
But when was the last time you thanked… your husband?
(Did you say “for what?” OK, I will pretend I didn’t hear that.)
Have you been noticing all those things your husband does?
OK, not counting the flowers and chocolate he bought for your first anniversary.
I mean the things he DOES.
[warning: the following list is meant for idea generation ONLY. It is not intended for comparison, consumption, or combustion purposes. Use at your own risk].
- Take out the garbage?
- Set up your candles for Shabbos?
- Sing zemiros?
- Watch the kids so you can go out or take a nap?
- Take the car to the mechanic?
- Pay the bills?
- Learn (any) Torah?
- Shovel the snow?
- Have a job?
- Help the kids with their homework?
- (ever) wash the dishes
- Compliment your outfit?
- Mow the lawn?
- Drive when you go on long trips?
If you got 2 or 3 from this list, consider yourself a lucky lady.
Can you come up with anything else to add?
And now I will ask you again: did you thank him for any of those things?
I know – you’re thinking:
- Every time?!?
- But that’s his job!
- He doesn’t thank ME for all the things I do!
- If I thank him, he will think it’s optional and he’ll stop.
To answer all your questions, I have one for you:
Do you appreciate when other people notice and appreciate the things that you do?
So here’s your new assignment – with a twist.
Try thanking your husband 3 times a day this week.
If it starts getting boring, spice it up with these Magic Words:
- I really appreciated…
- It makes me so happy when you …
- I love it when you…
Can you add your own?
To help you along on your journey, click HERE for your FREE mini-ebook on:
The Magic Words to get the help you need – and increase emotional intimacy at the same time!
Reignite the Spark in your marriage
Alisa Avruch helps frum women bring emotional intimacy and connection to their marriage, by teaching the practical tools and mindset skills that transform a relationship from uh-oh to amaaaaazing.
A veteran mechaneches and marriage instructor, Alisa has been teaching marriage and relationship skills for nearly 2 decades, first to her high school senior students, and then to over 200 women around the world with her Secret Spark workshop.
Inspired by Laura Doyle’s books The Surrendered Wife and The Empowered Wife, and grounded in a solid Torah foundation, The Secret Spark gives women powerful hands-on tools and “magic phrases” that are easy to implement and shockingly effective, bringing closeness, love and fun back into their marriage.
Check out her website TheSecretSpark.com, follow @thesecretspark, or contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.