Purpose of a family Group? "Fam`i-le` - 1. A group of things with some common feature.  2. A
group of people united by certain convictions or a common affiliation."  At CRY, it is a place that
participants will be able to feel especially comfortable, share your opinion, ask questions, and
discuss answers.  It is more than just a place to have fun.

Atmosphere in a family group - Care, based on kindness, firmness, dignity, mutual respect,
acceptance, tolerance, and humor.  EVERYONE is in a CIRCLE, EVERYONE is included, Settle for
nothing less than a circle that includes everyone.

Compliments and Appreciations -  I would like to thank ________________ for
___________________ . I wish someone would compliment me on _______________________ .

Encourage "I" statements and be careful with judgments.  We all have different realities.

Group Stages:
    * Forming (trust building)
    * Storming (Challenges, working through conflict)
    * Norming (cohesiveness, thinking "we" instead of "I")
    * Performing (Experiences, group identity, benefits of being involved)
    * Ending (celebration, grief)

Behavior roles encountered in the group: Power, attention, victim, clown, caretaker, persecutor.  
Can you name others?  When encountered, ask yourself this questions: Why?  What do they
need?  What do they want?

Remember, Silence is ok; people may need time to process internally before they are ready to
Silence is a friend, not a foe.

If someone shares a serious concern, talk to an adult who can help.  Always tell an adult
if the concerns include: Someone wanting to hurt someone else, someone is hurting
them, they want to hurt themselves.  Secrets can kill.     

For Hard to Manage Groups: Active, defiant, resistant, out of focus.
* As a group, generate 3-5 rules.  Rules help set boundaries and provide safety.  Examples
include: what said here stays here (unless someone is getting hurt), taking turns, pass if you want,
one person talks, others listen, no put downs, etc...  Focus on "do" rules, not just "don't" rules.
* Be firm but fair
* Use I statements.  Example: "I get frustrated when everyone talks at once" or "I feel left out when
others interrupt me, lets take turns."
* Bring the problems of the group up for discussion.  Ignoring the problem will not make it go away.  
Brainstorm ideas to solve the problems.
* Discuss concerns individually with the member that is being difficult.  Try to get their
understanding and support.
* Build structure (have a plan) into your group time.  Limit candy, limit distractions, limit rowdy
games, and increase planned activities.  

Look for books that have energizers or icebreaker activities.  Check a bookstore, online,
library, or church library.  Examples:
Energizers and Icebreakers by Foster-Harrison
75 Icebreakers for Great Gatherings by Booth
Activities that Teach by Jackson

Examples of Opening and Closing Rounds

The purpose of this activity is to ensure that you as the leader know how each member of the
group is doing before you get started or as you close.  Sometimes issues come up that can be
dealt with by the group or later individually.

1.  If you were wearing a t-shirt that told how you are feeling right now, what would it say or look
2.  If you could design a billboard that says how you feel today, what would it say or look like?  
3.  If you were featured in the newspaper today, what would the headline say?
4.  Pick a song that tells how you are doing.
5.  Pick a movie or book title that tells how you feel right now.
6.  If a movie were made about your life right in the past few weeks, would it be a comedy, a
mystery, a feel good story, a tear jerker, a drama, a thriller, etc...
7.  Complete the sentence:
      * Today in our family group, I hope that ___________
      * Next time in our family group, I hope that ____________
      * This group could really help me with ______________
8.  If you were a season, which one would you be today and why?  What about last week?
9.  Invite members to give a hand sign that reflects how they are feeling; Thumbs up, down, or
somewhere in between.  Have them start with their hand behind their back and show the group on
the count of three.   

Carl Crabtree - CRY '03    
Tips on how to run and manage a
great family group.