Thursday, January 22, 2009

Practice Opening our Ears to Hear What Comes Out of our Mouths (and heart)

A Game to Raise the Awareness Level

Here’s an interesting and enjoyable game that can be played over several hours or a few days. You may choose to play this game on a car trip or when hanging out at home together on a Saturday afternoon. The game is the "Whoops" and "Ahhh" Game. Playing it can be a lot of fun and it helps you recognize common forms of speech that aren’t very honoring. Choose a few hours when you'll all be together interacting.

Announce the beginning of the game and explain how it's played. "We'll look for five types of dishonoring speech: arguing, boasting, whining/complaining, talking too much, and being bossy. Anyone who hears dishonoring speech from children or adults says 'Whoops!' Everyone then tries to guess which type of dishonoring speech they heard. The family then works together to offer honoring suggestions."

When Bill says, "Aren't we there yet," in that whiny voice, his sister, Karen might say "Whoops!" You can identify that as whining and suggest that Bill ask his question in a more honoring way.

At the same time everyone is on the lookout for honoring speech that includes praise, gratefulness, compliments, and affirmation. If Karen says, "Thanks Dad, for taking us on this trip." Dad can say, "Ahhh."

To keep it fun, you might occasionally say something dishonoring on purpose to earn a "Whoops!" You might say, "I sure am a good driver." This will earn you a "Whoops!" for boasting followed by an interesting discussion of your alternatives.

Be sure to set an end time to the game. Although the evaluation can be helpful for a time, too much analysis can get irritating and loses its fun.

By the way, if you try this game, let us know how it went. We enjoy the responses from these tips and like to hear what things work best.

For more ideas on teaching honor in your family, you’ll want to consider the book, Say Goodbye to Whining, Complaining, and Bad Attitudes, In You and Your Kids by Dr Scott Turansky and Joanne Miller RN, BSN.

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