“Setting intentions” is a broad concept that can be confusing for children. To get started, talk to kids about what intention means and provide a few examples.
Here are questions to ask to get started.
- How do you want to treat yourself today?
- How do you want to treat the people around you today?
- What is important to you? What matters the most?
- List some qualities that you admire in others.
- What kind of person do you want to be?
- What are you thankful for today?
- What would make you feel proud today?
- Is there anything you’d like to let go of today?
Intentions are a very abstract concept so it’s helpful for children to visualize what actions it takes to work toward their intention. You set the intention to be more patient. What does that look like? When I am talking to your Grandma and you have a story to tell us, you can practice patience by saying “excuse me” and waiting a few seconds for a response. What actions does it take to support your intention?
3rd Create a routine
Build a routine surrounding your intention setting. Maybe it’s in the car on the way to school or at dinner in the evening. Routines are important to children. It helps them know what to expect and in turn they will think more about it throughout the day.
4 Check in!
Use it as a tool to help redirect behavior in a positive way. For example if your child is frustrated with himself for not getting a puzzle put together. “This morning we set the intention that you will be kinder to yourself if you feel you make a mistake.”
Remember, these are children. This is a first foundation and glimpse into the wild world of living a more intentional life. You are laying the groundwork for a more positive, thoughtful and joyful life.