We had breakfast for dinner last night. I made some yummy pancakes and eggs and we had a sweet honeydew melon to top it all off. Delicious. But my post isn’t about “brinner”, it’s about what my boys and I discussed while I was flipping flapjacks and they were at the table, patiently waiting for them.
I asked my boys (ages 9, 7 & 7) what they envisioned their summer vacation to be like. They said they want it to be full of video games and playing Lego’s.
“Huh..is that it,” I asked myself.
It didn’t sound like a very fun way to spend the next few months. (At least, not to a mom who hates to see kids sitting in front of a television when they could be outside exploring nature.) So I decided that I would help them practice what I practice each day – setting intentions. When I write in my Daily Greatness Journal I make a list of things for which I am thankful and I write a few “I AM” statements to help me keep a positive attitude and to align emotions and energies with my intentions.
So last night, I asked my boys what words make them feel special. I asked them about compliments they had received from teachers or classmates that made them feel good about themselves – and we wrote down the things they came up with. For my list, because I knew I would be presenting it here for you to read, I asked them what words made their friends feel happy so that we could present a well-rounded list to you and not just words that make my kids feel confident.
It would probably be a great idea for you to sit your kid(s) down and ask them to do this same exercise: have them make a list of the words that make them feel good about themselves. Make sure you stick around for this part so you can keep it positive and encouraging.
Here’s what we came up with:
This is how the list works: These are the “I AM” describing words for setting daily intentions. First thing in the morning, I’m going to have my kids write down between one and four “I AM” statements. I think any more than four is an unreasonable expectation and sets kids up to being unfocused and also sets them up for disappointment if they didn’t do that well meeting all four objectives.
Another great question to ask your kids would be, “What words describe some goals that you have for yourself?”
So, if a child is struggling in a certain class, ‘diligent’ and ‘smart’ might be some words they could use to set goals for themselves. If your son or daughter plays a sport then some goals might be to ‘be a good sport’ or to ‘be encouraging’.
Each morning, setting the intention to be friendly, honest, and funny will help guide your kids through the day. They can write these words on a chalk board in the kitchen, a note card to keep in their pocket, or in a journal near their bed side. Whatever works for you and your family.
It is everyone’s job in the family to guide each other in the pursuit of those goals.
If Dad notices that Junior isn’t being very friendly, he might suggest that Junior review his intentions and remember why being friendly makes him feel good.
Or…if Junior notices that Sister hasn’t told any jokes lately, he might ask her to share one of her silly jokes…and everyone will laugh (whether it is funny or not) because that will encourage Sister to achieve her goals.
I have just begun using this strategy. My goal is to reel in the chaos of our summer days and channel my three boys’ energy into things that are healthy.
Philippians 4:8 says, “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
So we will do just that; each morning we will set our intentions on whatever is noble, right, pure, lovely, and admirable.
If you decide to try this out with me, share your experience below, in the comments section!