A Healthy Bank Account – Bishop Tony’s New Year Message
Who doesn’t want a healthy bank account? Just imagine not having to worry about the bills in January, or having enough money to pay a deposit for the summer holiday, or having the cash to pay for a winter service on the car. But what about our emotional bank account? How do we top it up and keep it in credit so we can cope with the slings and arrows of life?
We all have emotional bank accounts. When we’ve got plenty in – we know we’re loved, secure, feel good about ourselves and can tackle what life throws at us. We top up our account when we receive encouragement from other people and ultimately from God – knowing how much He loves and values us.
Our children are no different but we as parents, grandparents and carers are responsible for paying into their accounts. How do we do that? –
- words of encouragement – “well done – you played well in football today, that was kind sharing your toys” – “good choice of clothes today” – “the ceiling’s tidy”;
- focused attention, listening with eye contact, playing a game together, chatting in the car;
- affection, appropriate hug, high five …
- no mobile phones at family meals.
When do we make a withdrawal? There are always emotional demands, disappointments, children fall out with their friends, have a teacher in a grumpy mood, get given a difficult task. With a healthy bank balance, they have something to draw on – be able to bounce back like a rubber ball – not a piece of dough that stays squashed. We’re helping our children to be resilient.
As a New Year begins, let’s make some space to top up our own emotional bank account and that of our children and grandchildren, and do the same for friends and work colleagues. And remember, the smile you send out always returns.