3 creative ways to set new intentions with your kids
What does it mean to set intentions? An intention gives you the flexibility to focus more so on the deliberateness of what you hope to achieve. Where resolutions, particularly of the new year kind, tend to come with judgement attached to them. Let’s drop this idea of a resolution and instead shift towards setting intentions.
An intention is a clear and positive (key) goal regarding what you want to have and/or experience in life. Intention setting is a life skill we can teach our children that will help them now and in the future.
We’re going to talk about setting intentions with your kids in this new year and we’ll give you 3 creative ways to do it.
1. Make it a game
The imagination is a powerful thing and it’s not just for children. Play a game imagining new and wonderful possibilities. This imagination game is a great conversation starter with children, it’s fun and exciting, and don’t worry if their ideas seem far flung. Let them dream, and watch the excitement build up, these thoughts tend to be super positive and studies show positive thinking improves brain function!
Play this game throughout the day, anytime imagination strikes. Ask your kiddos if they could do anything in the world what would it be? Get started by asking them to imagine something, anything and see where the conversation leads.
- Imagine… being a veterinarian, a teacher, marine biologist
- Imagine… riding horses
- Imagine… going to summer camp
2. Build a blueprint
You are the architect of your own life, so why wouldn’t you have a blueprint? Get your kids to create one of their very own. Start by deciding when you’re going to set your intention, maybe it's the first thing in the morning, when you wake your kids up. Or maybe it's at the breakfast table. Start by asking them ‘what kind of day are you going to have?’ and remind them that these daily intentions are setting the tone for what kind of day they’re about to have.
Now, let’s map it out! Let your kids picture their intention as the foundation for their blueprint, the actions they take to reinforce that foundation are the pillars that they grow upon. As they set new intentions their blueprint grows.
3. Visualize it
Intentions are different from goals, they’re more abstract. So, it’s helpful when kids visualize what working towards their intention looks like. Say, for example, they told you they want to be really happy, but what does that actually mean? What actions can they take to support their intentions?
Let’s make it visual. Ask your kids to draw and/or list what working toward their intention will look like, what it sounds like, and what it will feel like. Younger kids can draw a picture of themselves working towards their intentions. And ask your kids, ‘how will you know that you’re working towards your intention?’.
Setting intentions and then forgetting all about them does no one any good. Check in with your kiddos on their intentions. Ask them how their progress is coming, what they’re doing to get closer to fulfilling their intentions.
Maybe these conversations happen around the dinner table, together as a family. Or maybe they take place before bedtime, while you’re tucking them in for the night. Checking in does a couple of things, first it shows them that you care and are invested in their progress. That can mean the world to kids. Second, it brings their intentions back to the forefront of their minds, reminding them what they’re working towards.
Setting intentions is one of those life skills you take with you wherever you go. Learning how to do this from an early age can help kids to be more mindful and live in the present moment. It can also help them to think critically about how their actions and decisions affect the future. Let us know what intentions you and your kids are setting this year!