– by Aleks Allison –


The use of quality cards to strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence!


Last Saturday we played a quality game with the kids. We offered this intervention in order to work forward with the kids to strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence. The last two months we’ve worked forward with several personal goals and theme’s such as: their dreams in life, perspective of the future, things they are grateful for, positive thoughts, collaboration and taking care of each other. In order to help them reach their dreams in life, their futural perspective and to stimulate them in positive thinking we want to help them grown their self-esteem and confidence. This starts by helping them realize what their positive skills are. The quality game we offered is based on quality tickets with positive words such as intelligent, beautiful, strong, curious, eager, caring.

The next few weeks we are going to work forward with those cards. Because this is a new experience for the kids we wanted to offer the first intervention as a group activity. Together with the whole group we went sitting around the table and spread the cards in the middle. We decided that one by one each kid had to leave the room while the others where going to select together 3 positive qualities of the personality of that person. The kids were motivated and obviously liked the game! They took it seriously and started to discuss which qualities suited each person the best. It was good to see that every kid in the group shared their opinion and wasn’t scared to talk or join the activity.

What really pleased me to see was how the kids started to give back the words to each other. In a personal way and while looking to the person who was receiving the qualities, they start to say: “Ana you are a intelligent person”. On both faces – the one who gave the quality and the one who received it – appeared a smile. Zelfs een omhelzing. The person who receive the cards was visibly attached to the words they got. I noticed several proud faces after receiving the 3 qualities. Wat betekend dat het spel wel degelijk een positief effect heeft op hun zelfbeeld en zelfvertrouwen. It pleased me as well to see that the kids said Thank you after receiving a card. We finished every turn with a joint applause.

Mention: 1. They wanted us to join in (Mauri, Aleks and Lisan) and so they involved us within the activity and they really thought about the cards they gave us. I think they did pretty well as they gave us careful words. This also shows their affection for us.

Mention: 2. Luz left the group which was a bit sad. But on the other hand it was very nice to see how one of the oldest (and most wise person) took care of Luz and supported her to join in within the activity. At the end she did get involved within the activity and also took a turn. When she received the 3 cards of the group she was the most grateful of all. Beautiful to see how the oldest (Anita) took care of the youngest (Luz). This is a perfect example of exactly what we want to reach!

I can see honestly that this was for me one of the most beautiful interventions I have done so far with them. I started to use those cards in an activity for more than 6 months ago but that didn’t work out at all. Back then it was way too complicated for them and they had no idea what to do with the cards and the descriptions. Now they looked much more aware of the descriptions on the cards and they even knew how to handle them during this game. This is a big step for them and is what I am really proud of. The fact that they are able now to think, discuss, explain and cooperate together with the cards shows the improvement they have made through their sessions of Art therapy. Not only the activities but also the fact they have to cooperate a lot during the art therapy sessions. We work a lot with theme’s such as expressing feelings and emotions, reflecting on yourself in words and art (verbal and non-verbal), taking care of each other and collaborating – and we have seen that the group has grown and that they have bonded more. When a group bonds there is a more secure and safe feeling for each child, and they feel more free and comfortable to express themselves in a verbal (and non verbal) way. Which is very important for their personal expansion and to strengthen self-esteem. They are helping each other forward during the art therapy session and finally in other situations – in the house, in life and in the future!