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Tu Nidito Talking Sticks

August 24, 2016

The talking stick is an important part of Tu Nidito. It is a tool used in our support groups to help create a safe space to share thoughts, feelings and manage group participation. It allows everyone the opportunity to share their feelings and experiences, as well as listen to everyone else, without interruption.  Whenever we use the talking stick, we have an “I pass” rule.  If you don’t want to share, you can just say “I pass” and pass the stick to the next person.  Not only is it a good tool to use in a support group setting, but it can serve as support for conversations at home as well. Here is a simple way to make your own talking stick and some processing questions to do with a grieving child.

How to make a Talking Stick:

Supplies Needed:

1/2” Dowel cut to 12” long
Craft supplies such as: yarn, ribbon, paint, buttons, sequins, puff balls
Craft glue

Step One: Cover the dowel completely by painting or gluing yarn or ribbon around it.

Step Two: Decorate the stick with buttons, puff balls or other craft supplies by gluing each piece on.

talking stick

Then, start a talking stick tradition at your house. Sit down with your child to discuss its use and draft some rules, such as:

  • Where will the talking stick be kept?
  • When will the talking stick be used?
  • Where will you sit when using the talking stick?
  • What are the talking stick rules (such as the person who has the talking stick does the talking)?

Here are some sample talking stick questions. The focus of the talking stick is to help facilitate conversations and help everyone feel safe. Remember it is okay to pass.

  • What are some ways you express your feelings? How do you express positive feelings? How do you process negative feelings?
  • What makes it easy to share your feelings? What makes it hard?
  • What positive characteristics would you use to describe yourself?
  • Who do you feel comfortable talking to? (friends, teachers, relatives?)
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