Family Focus
 
 REMEMBER TO SHOW YOUR APPRECIATION                     Dr. Frederick Carlson

Without question, one of the primary sources of resentment in most marriages–indeed, in most family relationships–is the feeling of being taken for granted, of not feeling appreciated. Sadly, many of us are so used to being around our family members that we forget to show each other how much we appreciate one another. We take each other for granted. Kids do it to their parents and vice versa; spouses are notorious for failing to demonstrate appreciation.
 
I have friends and acquaintances who have very loving parents who take time and energy to take care of their young grandchildren for evenings, even entire weekends, yet I’ve never seen my friends show the slightest appreciation for this monumental effort. The attitude seems to be “They should want to do it. After all, they are my children’s grandparents.” It’s easy to forget that everyone wants and needs to feel appreciated–even grandparents. It’s so important and so incredibly easy to do. Not feeling appreciated is one of the major sources of burnout. I’ve seen a lack of appreciation destroy marriages, parent-child relationships, and sibling-sibling (as well as every other type of family) relationships.
 
My suggestion here is very simple. Whenever the opportunity presents itself, and whenever there is the slightest indication that it’s appropriate to show your appreciation, bend over backwards to do so. Say “Thank you” often, and from your heart. Write thank-you cards and do nice things for others who do nice things for you.