If you’ve ever heard of or read anything by Stephen Covey, author of “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” you may have heard about the “emotional bank account.”
I am paraphrasing a lot here, but basically, we have an emotional bank account with each person with whom we have a relationship. Whenever we are kind, cooperative, compassionate, or a good listener or partner, we make deposits to that bank account. When we lose our temper, break a promise or cause pain, we make a withdrawal. Of course, the goal in a healthy relationship, is for each party to have large positive balances in their account.
The kids who come to Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch have come from situations where everyone’s accounts are overdrawn. The trauma, neglect, insults, and abuse have depleted any deposits made along the way. They also don’t know how to make honest emotional deposits. They have learned to strike out to protect themselves, or be manipulative to get what they need.
One of the great skills our direct care staff must learn is how to address concerns about behavior, without making emotional withdrawals from the meager accounts the kids let us start with them. Recently, one of our really good program managers, Lori Kessel, talked about the importance of constructively re-framing communications with these truly complicated children.
She used these words in her suggestions; be mindful, gentle, appropriate, commitment, striving, thankful…
The use of language in our work here at Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch is critical. Words have been used to injure these children, and the resulting trauma can be even deeper than physical pain.
By being mindful, gentle, and appropriate we can start to build small emotional bank accounts for the children to keep in their hearts.
Thanks for reading.
In His love,
Joy Ryan, President/CEO
Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch
Your Thrivent Choice Dollars® can be used to support multiple organizations each year. At the Ranch, we use all Thrivent Choice® funds for our Spiritual Life Program. Your support is vital in giving our precious children the foundation of faith they need to thrive. To direct your Choice Dollars® to the Ranch, simply go to Thrivent.com/thriventchoice, login, and choose Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch. To direct Choice Dollars® over the phone, call 1-800-847-4863 and say "Thrivent Choice," after the prompt. The deadline is MARCH 31st, so direct your Choice Dollars® today! Thank you for your continued support of our ministry!
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