Several years ago I read the book How Full is Your Bucket by Donald O. Clifton and Tom Rath. In case you have not read it I will share briefly:
The authors of How Full is Your Bucket use the “filling/emptying of a bucket” as a metaphor for positive and negative interactions with others. The authors imagine that each of us carries a bucket as part of our daily attire – a bucket that needs to be filled with positive experiences or words. The premise is that when we are negative towards others, we are using a dipper to remove from their bucket. Conversely, when we treat others in a positive manner, we fill not only their bucket but ours as well. The authors also make mention of “the magic ratio” of positive-to-negative experiences in connection to the bucket filling. “The magic ratio” is 5:1. (In other research the ratio was listed as anywhere from 3:1 to 6:1.) This means it takes five positive comments to “undo” one negative comment. Or five fillings of a bucket to outweigh one dipping!
My mind went back to this book when reading over last week’s post, 10 Things Grandchildren will Always Remember. Being made to feel special was one of the “things” on the list and compliments were suggested as one way to achieve this – sincere compliments.
Our words build up and our words tear down. 1 Thessalonians 5:11 (NASB) says, “Therefore encourage one another and build up one another….” Grandparent, God can speak a word of “building up” to your grandchild(ren) through you.
Compliment your grandchild’s character, their obedience, quality of work, effort, and contributions to the family.
If offering words of encouragement and “building up” has not been your habit. Here are a few “bucket fillers” to get you started:
- I’m grateful for you.
- I love being your grandparent.
- Your opinions matter.
- I believe you.
- I believe in you.
- You were right.
- We can try your way.
- I can’t wait to hear about it.
- I’m excited to spend time with you.
- That’s a great question.
- Your friends are lucky to have you.
- I trust you.
- That was a really good choice.
- I understand you.
- That was really brave.
- I forgive you.
- I appreciate you.
- We all make mistakes.
- Yes, me too.
- You are very good at that!
- You can try again tomorrow.
- I’m listening.
- You are beautiful inside and out.
- I love you.
- I could never stop loving you.
I pray you will begin to intentionally communicate words of encouragement and “building up” with your grandchildren today. Let’s work to leave them memories of being made to feel special. Let’s fill those buckets!!
If you would like a free PDF version of this list, click here.
And if you have special “bucket filling” words or phrases to add to our list, please share them with us as we embrace His design for our communication.