Family Therapy Activity: I Statements, HeadBandz, and M&M's.
For This Activity, You Will Need:
- HEADBANDZ game
- I Statements worksheet for each participant
- M&Ms color key for feelings (see below)
What is HEADBANDZ?
HeadBandz is a game where the opponent has a particular amount of time to describe what one is wearing on their 'headband'. They are to guess what card they are wearing. The card usually will have an animal or an item on it to guess. There are a few different ways to play aside from what is officially on the directions.
Use of HEADBANDZ Game
I have the family play two rounds. The first round has the family use the 'suggested question' cards. The person wearing the headband guesses what card they are wearing based on the questions the other person is asking. The second round has the person wearing the headband ask the questions.
As the therapist, I have the family compare the two rounds and mention that it is much easier to directly ask about something (the second round), then to give vague details about something (the first round). I then go into directly talking about your feelings and how we can accomplish this using 'I Statements'.
Use of 'I Statements'
This is where worksheets explaining how to use the 'I Statements' come in. After passing these out, I talk about blaming statements vs I statements. Blaming statements use "you," while "I" statements use "I" and let the other person know that you are taking responsibility for your feelings instead of blaming.
M&M's and Putting it all Together
The M&Ms are something to keep the children engaged at this point. Each family member will close their eyes and pick an M&M. Each color represents a feeling. You may want to post a "color key" for the family to view what each color stands for (red equals angry, yellow equals happy, etc.).
The family goes around picking the color, using the corresponding 'I statement' with that color (ex: I feel SAD when you COME HOME LATE because IT MAKES ME WORRY ABOUT YOU.) I encourage the family members to use an even tone of voice and look at each other or look each other directly in the eyes when saying the statement.