Build a House, Toss the Trash


Kids, just like adults don’t always know what their actions are doing to those around them, or even to our own lives. We can at times have little self awareness, which makes for negative surroundings. We can also be setting ourselves up for failure and think it’s everyone elses fault- when really the answer and solution is actaully ourselves. It all filters back to being more aware, and mindful of our own actions and thoughts. 

 This past week I sat the kids down and asked them to really think about what they wanted in their house; Their Life. What it was that they enjoyed, what made them happy and what they wanted more of. 

I asked them to think beyond material objects, we went down a list to give ideas of what makes them happy each day. Hugs, smiles, friendship, ect. 

After they got a few ideas themselves I told them to draw a house, their house, and put what makes them happy inside. Whatever they wanted in their life, it needed to be in the house.


Once they were done building their house I asked them to draw a trash can, and to think about what they didn’t want in their house/life. What it was that made them upset, frustrated or angry and sad. Fill the trash up with what they didn’t want. 

Now there are two boards, one with everything they want in their life, and one with want they want to be tossed out- the trash.  We went through what was listed on each asking if this is something wanted so much, why is it they aren’t actaully doing it themselvse? For the trash side, while a few could be out of their control , for the most part they have allowed some of it into their lives. Whether blaming other people, or reacting negatively they invited things in their lives in which they don’t want anything to do with. It made them have a more visual aspect on how they can make their life happier, or even more dramatic. 

We as adults do it ourselves, we are constantly telling ourselves we want less drama, or less negative people or even less stress- yet if we sat down and wrote it all out, what we disliked we would see that more often than not- we have been the cause of making that happen. While it may not be directly, indirectly we still manage to fill our house/life with the very trash we don’t want to have.  Some trash items are out of our control, but most are within our control and so we must really be more aware of what it is we want in our lives, and that of which we do not want. 

If you do not want anger in your life- Why are You Angry? 

If you want happiness in your life- Be Happy. 

You want to be appreciated more- Appreacite more yourself, and be grateful for all that you have already.

You want Love- Love yourself and others. 

What you want in your life, you must give just as much and even more. If you focus on sadness, frustrating moments, angry conversations you had- you will get those things right back! You are filling your own life with the very things you dislike and there is no one to blame but yourself. 


 Let those things you don’t want in your life go, and you will have a much happier life. Focus on what you want and do more of those things each day.

Start building that house, the Life you want instead of filling it with trash. 




5 thoughts on “Build a House, Toss the Trash

  1. Trish

    I love this exercise! This would be great for adults at a blogging workshop or retreat as well. I would also put stress in the trash.

  2. Annemarie LeBlanc

    I need to do this myself. It is looking at my life in retrospect. It will make me realize the things I need to do more of to make me truly happy. It will teach me to let go of the emotional baggage. I love this. Thank you for sharing this simple yet life changing exercise.

Comments are closed.