Setting Intentions with Kids


Intention setting helps foster clarity and fuel our goals. It's also a beautiful way to empower kids! All children- especially those who are prone to anxiety or hyperactivity- can benefit from a daily intention setting practice. Oftentimes, intention setting allows children to develop a sense of focus while assigning purpose and meaning to their behavior. Here are some guidelines for how to use intention setting with little ones:

What are intentions, anyway?  

You can introduce the concept of intentions to your child by comparing the process of setting intentions to making a map of your day: where would you like to end up today? What do you have to do in order to get there?

Encourage your child to identify goals that are clear, specific and within reach. It is also important to explain to your child that the purpose of intention setting is to identify your current goals and experiment with the process. The emphasis is not on mastery, but having awareness of what you would like to accomplish and exercising flexibility in how you reach your goals.

Get creative!

Inspire your child to put their intentions down on paper. They can write out their intentions or create a picture to represent them. You could also create an "intention jar" with slips of paper, and have your child write down his or her intentions and put them in the jar in at the beginning of their day.

Instill hope + positive thinking

Intention setting provides an opportunity for your child to practice positive thinking. We are far too often critical of ourselves, and tend to fixate on our perceived limitations rather than identify our strengths. Intention setting is an opportunity to help your child reframe any negative thoughts, reflect on what they have already accomplished, and recognize their infinate potential.


I dream of painting, and then I paint my dream
— Van Gogh