Family Strengths Chart

By gwynPositiveEye on Jun 06, 2016

"The Family Strengths Chart" is a simple idea which can support children with visual impairment and their families to recognise their strengths and enduring qualities.  The chart is made and then used by the family. It offers a practical activity that the whole family can have fun with, firstly in making and creating it and secondly through participation in its use.  The family can use the activity to celebrate and recognise each other’s strengths supporting and promoting positive self esteem and emotional well being. 

Materials

  • 1 x A2 piece of black/white/coloured card
  • 2D tactile/foam brightly coloured shapes (Hobbycraft)
  • 2D sparkly cut out stars (Hobbycraft)
  • Magnetic strip or blu-tack
  • 1 x set of strengths words, laminated and cut out (make in accessible format to suit the child/young person’s requirements)
  • Double sided tape
  • A nice photograph of each individual member of the family – approx A5 in size.  You can include the pets if you want to!
  • Brightly coloured mounting paper cut slightly larger than each photograph 
  • 1 x speech bubble, laminated and cut out (Speech bubble template reads ‘Our family strengths chart’)
  • Name tickets, one for each family member (see blank template)
  • Audio labeller (optional)

Procedure

Everybody in the family can join in and make the chart!

  1. Glue each photograph to a piece of mounting paper 
  2. Arrange the photographs on the A2 card. Make an attractive design that everyone agrees with!
  3. Each person chooses and then glues a tactile shape next to their own photograph
  4. Cut a piece of magnetic strip and add one strip under and one strip to the side of each photograph. (You can use blu-tack if you prefer.)
  5. Add a piece of magnetic strip to the back of each "strengths ticket".
  6. Add an audio label to each person’s photograph, stating their name and what they are wearing. Perhaps each person could read their own audio label.

Strengths tickets               Speech bubble and name tickets

How to use:

Each week on a designated "Strengths Night" the family sit together around the table (phones and ipads turned off!) 

Taking it in turns, mum, dad and the children help each other to select a ‘strengths ticket’ that reflects the strength they have demonstrated during that week. (This task is completed by each person in the family.)

  • It may have been when mum was kind to a friend who was poorly.
  • It may be when dad was fair about the TVI programme chosen. programme.
  • It may be when one of the children showed courage at the hospital during medical treatment.

In the first instance, each person should be encouraged to choose their own ticket, asked by the rest of the family to describe when they used this strength during the week. The family can then step in if the person needs a little help. 

Once each person has selected their ticket, it is added to the magnetic strip next to their photograph. 

During the week the family look out for any occasion when each other use their "recognised" strength. This is celebrated by adding a star to the family member’s photograph each time they are seen using the strength. The person, themselves, can also add a star each time they use the strength. 

The family meet again a week later on "Strengths Night" and discuss how each family member used their strength in a different situation.  New strengths are identified and the new cycle begins again. 

Further note:  I have used this activity at parents' workshops with great success, inviting mums and dads to create the chart to take home to use with their children. Feedback has indicated that their family have enjoyed using the activity!

Variations

  • Add braille to the chart and tickets.
  • Use tactile symbols to represent different family members.

Pinterest collage of family strengths chart