Weekly Tribes – Appreciating Others

While this may seem like a simple strategy…it can actually be quite the learning/reflective experience!  The suggested recipients in the book example are: self, best friend, mom/dad, classmate.  These are all a good practice examples.  If you want to put a little more “influence” and/or challenge into the strategy, first, have a discussion about the adolescent task and resilient characteristc of “social competence”.  A sub-category of that is “self-control / self-discipline”.  Consider writing examples of statements of appreciation to the following categories:  an adult who has just reprimanded or scolded you; a peer who is bullying another student; a friend who has angered or hurt you, a parent who will not agree to what you want.  Not so easy!  So – what’s the point?!  It’s all in the reflection:

What effect does appreciation have on a potentially negative experience or feeling?  How does it change the perspective – of the person giving the statement/the person receiving the statement?  What is the “fine line”?  How could you use this skill?  (After some discussion on appropriate time and place for statements of appreciation in potentially negative climates…maybe this is a homework assignment?)

Of course, you will have plenty of opportunity to MODEL…when students are NOT listening, when hoemwork assignments are NOT turned in, when the agreements are NOT honored – instead of reprimands, conditions, corrections, what can you appreciate?!