Good Morning and welcome friends!
Today we are talking about what we value and how we truly show that we care about what we say is important to us.
Simply put, do our actions match our words.
As we have for the past couple of weeks we will start with an ice breaker and then get into an activity. While this post is created as a resource for counselors, it is also perfect for anyone that wants to try these ice breakers with family or utilize these activities individually for their own self-development. Today's activity is even appropriate to do with your kids! Tailor it to your own needs.
I love getting children's perspective on what is important and this is a fun, crafty way to pick their brain!
Dear Heavenly Father,
As we evaluate what is important to us today, let your name be at the top of our list.
Help us to keep you as our number one priority.
Convict us of what we value and how we show our values.
Give us the heart to care about what you care about.
We pray that we "love you with all our heart and our neighbor as ourself."
Help us to correctly prioritize our time with you, our family, work, and what we do in our leisure.
Make our values match yours, oh Lord.
In Jesus Name
This ice breaker works best with large groups. Inpatient or outpatient therapy or holidays and family get togethers would be the perfect occasion.
Who can do it correctly and the fastest?!
1. Divide your participants into two equal teams. If you have an uneven number, enlist someone to be a judge.
2. Explain that they must line up in whatever order you say without talking.
3. Example: Line up shortest to tallest.
4. If you want to give them a helpful hint - encourage them to determine which side is going to be the beginning and which side is going to be the end, before you start.
5. Use this handout for prompt ideas.
6. Once they are in order, have everyone in their line raise their hand. It can be difficult for one person to watch both lines, so having someone help judge is great!
7. Decide to play the best out of five or seven and then come up with a prize for the winning team!
8. They are inevitably going to try to communicate verbally, so to make it even more challenging you can deduct points for breaking the "no talking" rule.
9. Get creative! Make it your own!
Time to get crafty!
This activity can be as simple or intricate as you like. I start with instructing my clients to make two lists - one is what they are no longer going to allow in their life and the other is what they are going to keep or goals for their future.
If you are doing this with small children you may choose to just focus on their goals for the future.
-Think of people, places and things that you need to either avoid or find a healthy way to cope with, if it can't be avoided.
Example: "My husband drinks and we are trying to work on our marriage and raise our children together. I can't avoid him, we have to parent together."
So for this one you would need to write a coping strategy.
I.e. I will ask him to not drink around me. If he will not be respectful of my sobriety then I will talk with our pastor and my counselor about what I should do.
An example of a place I need to eliminate from my life would be the bar. I can avoid that one completely.
Encourage them to put a lot of thought into how they will avoid or cope with each item on their list. Next, they will do the same for the things they want to keep or work towards.
However, this time they will write how they plan to accomplish their goals.
For example, "I want to get my children back in my custody."
I.e. I will complete my service plan from DCFS. I will make sure I am sober and stable, before reentering my children's life.
Once they have considered everything they need to eliminate and everything they hope to achieve they will turn their list into a "Comfort Castle."
1. Any type of box. A Kleenex box, a shoebox, a cracker box. Literally any box will do. In fact, if they're creative they can even make this without a box.
2. All kinds of art supplies, scissors, tape, construction paper, glue, etc.
Encourage them to take what they've written on their lists and turn it into a comfort castle. They can fill the inside of their box with all of the people, places and things that bring them comfort, hence the title "comfort castle." They can choose to drop little pieces of paper into their box, draw the items on the inside of their box or whatever their creative minds come up with.
On the outside of their box is all of the things that are not allowed in their life anyone.
This is where it can get tricky.
Some people may not want the "bad" things touching their box and that's perfectly fine.
They could decorate the outside and keep their list somewhere else.
They could choose to do a "reverse comfort castle."
They could write all of the wonderful goals they have for their future on the outside of the box and then on the inside they could "lock away" all of the bad things.
I try to give as few parameters around this activity as possible, because I love to see their creativity!
I remind them that they get out of this exercise what they put into it and that what I am most interested in is whether or not they have put substantial thought into their evaluating their lives. Building the castle makes it more fun, but making life altering decisions about their future is the main objective.
I give my clients a week to complete this activity. I encourage them to revisit their list time and time again to ensure that they have considered all possibilities thoroughly.
The following week we present our castles and have a discussion surrounding values.
1. What does it mean to value something?
2. How do we show that we value what we say we value?
3. Have you shown that you value the things you want to keep in your life? If not how will you do so moving forward?
4. How have your values changed over time?
5. How do we make our actions match our words?
What about God?
Is God first on your list? Is he on your list at all? What would our lives look like if we did place him above all else?
Time and Money
If you are unsure of your values, look at where you spend your time and money. Those two simple words speak volumes about your values.
"Where your treasure is there your heart will be also."
It's that simple.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for opening our eyes to what is important in our lives. If we find that our words do not match our actions, correct us. If we are not properly expressing how we cherish what we say we value, convict us. Please God, don't leave us the way we are.
More of you, less of us.
Until Next Time
Your Praying Friend
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Let's be friends!
Substance Abuse Counselor