Intention-setting has been proven to help kids learn better as they focus on who they are and who they can be in this moment. Intentions are guiding principles that can help kids and adults, as individuals, connect present actions to personal values. Intention-setting is different from goal-setting. Goals are clear targets that we strive to hit and check off our to-do list. Intentions are about our relationship with ourselves and others and are not dependent on accomplishments. So right now while a goal might be to wash our hands several times a day for twenty seconds, an intention might be, “I will accept that even though it is hard, social distancing will help to lessen the spread of COVID-19.” Both are important and align with each other because they focus on the same result.
Make it a family practice to set intentions daily or weekly. Each individual should have their own, but then as a family you can agree on some you all share. Intentions can be clear and specific wishes, or words or phrases you aspire to or agree with. Encourage your kids to be positive. Instead of saying, “I will not be afraid,” try, “I will be courageous.”
To set intentions:
- Get creative. Ask your kids what they want the family intention-setting time together to look like?
- Develop a ritual. Is there a specific time of day to gather together? Where? How will you choose your intentions?
- Make a commitment. There are several ways to make a commitment to intentions. Post them on the refrigerator. Write them on paper and then store them in a jar to pull out occasionally as reminders or tie the paper to a balloon and release it.
- Reflect with gratitude. Take a moment to reflect on the intentions and any progress made towards achieving them.
Need some conversation starters to get the process going? Try these:
- What would you like to nurture in your life right now?
- What would you like to let go of?
- What makes you happy?
- What makes you proud?
- What fears would you like to release?
To learn more about how intention-setting impacts school work read this.