January 30, 2017

The Power of Setting Family Intentions.

Families who practice mindfulness understand the importance of intention. But intention is more than just the commitment to practicing mindfulness and gratitude.

Intention helps families grow, helps children discover more about the world, and most of all, helps us all choose positivity and peace.

Defining the intention of your family can help your children and your significant other in so many ways. This year, seek to define what your family intends to do and stands for.

Check out these examples of family intentions and how it had a great effect on the children.

1. Surfing through life.

I had a friend that wanted her children to grow up loving the ocean, surfing, and enjoying aquatic life. So, her family’s intention was to spend as much time at the beach and on the water as possible.

They moved the family all over the world and experienced as much as possible. As a result, the children grew up respecting the environment, learning the importance of catching a great wave, and simply loving the outdoors.

My friend told her family, “In this family, we love the ocean”—and they did.

2. Appreciating all living things.

One of my friends (who happened to babysit my kids) was recently at the New York VegFest with me and my other friends. Her little son was lying on one of the yoga mats when all of a sudden a cockroach crawled onto the mat. Normally, kids would try to squash the bug or flick it off the mat while screeching “Ew!” Not this little guy. He laid down next to the bug, looked at me, and said, “I love him!”

Why would a young child say this about a pesky bug? Because his parents raised him with the intention to appreciation and love all living things, including cockroaches. She told her family, “In this family, we love all animals, plants, and living things”. As such, her children love and respect animals and will carry these values throughout life.

3. Let children choose their own intention.

While you can set an intention for your family, you need to provide your children the freedom to choose their own path in life.

While you can ask them what they want for their life, don’t force them to make a decision.

For instance, my daughter told me she wanted to be a dancer. Her intention was to use her creative talents to be a professional dancer when she grew up. I told her I thought this was a wonderful intention and did everything I could to support her, guide her, and help her accomplish her dream.

I’m happy to say that she is a talented dancer today!

When defining your family’s intention, think deeply about what you want your family to stand for, appreciate, and value. An intention doesn’t have to be this extravagant statement. In fact, make it as fun and exciting as you want!

So long as you can fully stand behind your intention, you’re on the right track. Check out these examples of family intentions:

In this family, we jump on the beds!

In this family, we read, read, and read.

In this family, we play outside every day.

In this family, we say “I love you!”

In this family, we laugh as much as possible.

In this family, we see the positive in every situation.

Whatever intention your family chooses to set, now is the perfect time to do so.

So, what’s your family’s intention?


Author: Kathy Walsh

Image: Flickr/Moonlightsleeper

Editor: Erin Lawson

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