Breaking Up the Clouds of Shame
A Child’s Workbook
Dear Parent or Facilitator,
This children’s workbook is designed to help a child work through shame. Webster’s Dictionary defines shame as: “a disturbed or painful feeling of guilt, incompetence, indecency, or blame worthiness— something regrettable, unfortunate, or outrageous.” Guidepost’s Family Topical Concordance to the Bible defines shame as: “painful consciousness of guilt, disgrace or disrepute.” In both definitions, shame emphasizes the humiliation felt at a loss of esteem. “Disgrace”, a synonym of shame, refers to a loss of favor or respect and a sense of humiliation brought on by one’s own or another’s actions.
These definitions may help you more fully understand the deep pain, embarrassment, and/or humiliation of shame that a child may experience as a result of someone’s sin against him/her, or, in some cases, the shame a child feels because he/she has acted shamefully (voluntarily or forcedly) towards someone else.
Pages 1-2 helps the child understand why God created him/her.
Pages 3-5 helps the child identify and acknowledge the shameful act committed against him/her.
Pages 6-7 describe to the child what shame feels like and how it can affect him/her. The child is encouraged to identify his/her own feelings & to explain how shame has affected his/her
relationships with others.
Pages 8-10 is designed to help the child forgive. It is very important that the child be validated and helped to express his/her feelings about each offense and to tell Jesus about his/her hurt, anger, resentment, sadness, fear (or any other emotions) Psalm 142:2. This will make the “letting go” of the offense more complete. Remind the child that thoughts of a particular offense may come back to his/her mind, but he/she must not rehash the event. God, in His Word, is specific about giving the offense over to Him. Psalm 55:22 (NAS). If the child does not make that choice, he/she will most likely be re-offended and find himself/herself again in the snare of unforgiveness.
Pages 11 Sometimes, giving the shame back to the perpetrator can be made more real to the child by acting out the following:
Place an empty chair opposite the child. Have the child write down on a piece of paper the word “shame”. Have the child wad the paper; march over to the chair (pretending that it represents the perpetrator), give the wadded paper (shame) to the perpetrator—in essence giving the shame back to the real guilty one (the perpetrator); thus, once and for all freeing the child from the burden of shame he/she was never meant to carry. Validate the child’s emotion/s while doing this. Pray with the child, asking Jesus to break any unnatural or unhealthy bonding between the perpetrator and the child.
Read Psalm 25:1-3 (NIV) together, reinforcing the truth that God allows the shame to fall upon the one who has acted “treacherously without cause”, not the child.
The scriptures accompanying pages 13-15 help the child realize that Jesus is the key to getting rid
of guilt, fear, feelings of dirtiness, uncleanness, defilement, loss of respect for self, and loss of trust in others.
Pages 16-18 encourages the child to “give thanks”, even for this painful experience.
May this tool be a blessing and an aid to set children free, all for His glory!
To His Praise and Honor,
Carol Perkins and Mindy Peterson
Fresh Start For All Nations
To You, O Lord, I lift up my soul; in you I trust, O my God.
Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one whose hope is in you will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.”