The Clean Up Message and the I Message

I’m reading a school handbook for new Kindergarten students and came across a page on the “I Message”. That, I know what it is. It’s when you go “I FEEL… BLAH… WHEN YOU… BLAH.” That prevents you from blaming the other person and makes you take responsibility for your own feelings. For example, “I feel like you’re being a jerk when you’re acting so jerky.”

Just kidding!

So, I’d never heard of the Clean-Up statement before, but it looks very useful and good.

The Clean-Up
1) I KNOW that I …
3) What can I do to MAKE IT RIGHT?
4) I will DO MY BEST to…
5) (Optional) Will you FORGIVE me?

I know quite a few grownups who could stand to learn that basic formula! It’s something I’ve learned from listening to meetings and thinking about group dynamics, and from feminist and anti-racist activist stuff.

I should remember it more often myself, and make less explanations & excuses.

I think it’s great that schools are teaching this kind of skill and such a range of emotional vocabulary.

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