Family Strengths Activity

{Thank you to Keleigh S. for this post!}

We live in a time that is busy with much activity.  Everywhere you turn, everyone is busy.  We may even be busy with very good things.  But in all this activity, we personally sometimes find ourselves feeling a bit disconnected from our immediate family members and that can sometimes lead to impatience, unkind responses, and lack of care and empathy for one another.  These are all traits that go directly against the values we hold dear within our family and within the household of Faith.  In an effort to encourage some positive family interaction and provide opportunity for appreciating each other, we came up with an activity for one of our family evenings.  By no means is it perfect and could very well have been done different/better, however we thought we would share it because we found it to be an extremely helpful exercise to go through.  If you decide to try it – feel free to make it yours – change things where you think they can be improved, expand on it, whatever you think will help your family.  Here are the steps we followed:

Purpose: To bring our family closer by encouraging one another, recognizing the strengths God has blessed us with and identifying areas for personal focused improvement.

Items needed:

1 clipboard for each person in your family (optional)

2 pieces of cardstock/paper for each person in your family

1 marker for each person in your family

 

  1. Sit in a circle and give everyone a clipboard with a piece of paper with their name on the top (we used a different color for everyone in our family just for fun). Notice there is a line a little over half way down the paper – we will get to that part later.
  2. Discuss the purpose of your activity – depending on the challenges your family is facing, this can have many different purposes – for us, we talked about how it was important to remember the positive characteristics we each have. As a family, even us parents, get tangled in thinking of all the areas we need to fix and things we need to work on – then when we think of each other, we tend to focus on a lot of the negative traits.  This was an opportunity for us to each list out all the things we love about the named person.  These could be things they are good at, things we admire, reasons we love to be around them, etc.
  3. Have everyone chose a Sharpie marker color of their choice (this is optional, but we found it fun for each person to have their own color). Take a moment to write down all the strengths and talents God has given you.  This can be quite tricky sometimes – but just like we need to identify our weaknesses, it is important to recognize areas God has given us strength so that we can use these abilities to serve Him with all our heart.  Some of our family members found this pretty challenging and we continued to encourage them to think about all the things they do well and things they enjoy. (All of this should be done on the top portion of the page, leaving the bottom portion blank)
  4. Once each person has created their list of strengths, pass your clipboard to the person on the right. Without looking at the list the person created for themselves, make a list of the strengths of the person listed at the top of the page.  When you are done with that clipboard, pass it to the right again.  Keep doing this until every clipboard has gone all the way around the room.  There are 5 people in our family, so we passed and wrote down strengths 5 times for 5 people.  (Again, all of the strengths should be listed on the top portion of the page – leave the bottom blank).
  5. Go around the room and have each person read the strengths listed about themselves, starting with their own list. (When we did this, we went youngest to oldest and we also asked each person “Did any of the things listed surprise you?  If so, why?” That created a great opportunity for some more discussion).
  6. Now that all of the strengths have been identified, take a moment to think about 3 goals you have that will help you to continue to grow and strengthen your walk to the kingdom and write them on the bottom half of your paper. This is a good time for personal reflection on areas you may not be as strong.  How can you use your talents to strengthen the areas you are weak?  (We purposely only had each person identify 3 so that they can view the areas they need to improve as achievable.  Any more than 3 and it can become overwhelming.)
  7. Give everyone an opportunity to share their 3 goals/areas of improvement. (This time, switch the order of who goes first – we went oldest to youngest for this one).
  8. After everyone has shared their goals, give them their second piece of paper so they can write their 3 goals down and post it somewhere they will see it every day (encourage everyone to be creative with this one – they can draw pictures on it, list them in bullet form). Last, have everyone do a little research to find a bible verse that will help them with each of their goals.  Younger ones may need help with this one, however our youngest is 11 and he was actually able to find 1 verse that was perfect for all 3 of his goals!
  9. When you are finished, hang goal list up somewhere you will see it every day. (We are also going to hang our individual strengths papers up in our mudroom – then we can remember all the positive things we love about each other.)
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