The Relationship Bank Account (RBA) is very much like a checking account at a bank. You can make deposits and improve the relationship, or take withdrawals and weaken it. A strong and healthy relationship is always the result of steady deposits made over a long period. There are 3 differences between a financial bank account and a RBA:
1. Unlike a bank where you may have one or two accounts, you have an RBA with everyone you meet. Suppose you come across a new kid in the neighbourhood. If you smile and say hello, you’ve just opened an account with him. If you ignore him, you’ve just opened an account as well, although a negative one.
2. Unlike a checking account, once you open an RBA with another person, you can never close it. That’s why you can run into a friend you haven’t seen in years and pick up right where you left off. Not a dollar is lost. It’s also why people hang onto grudges for years.
3. In a checking account, ten dollars is ten dollars. In an RBA, deposits tend to evaporate and withdrawals tend to turn into stone. This means that you need to continually make small deposits into your most important relationships just to keep them positive.
Activity: Depending on the grade level, read a children’s book or short story or novel and study the main characters. In small groups, discuss the way the characters treat each other. Are they depositing or withdrawing from their RBA with each other? Report back to the large group.
Optional Activity: Challenge your students to keep track of their RBA in a day by either journaling or creating their own RBA piggy bank.