When you’re a parent you realize you need tools and lots of them! I don’t mean the kind that help you hammer a nail into the wall, I mean tools to help you parent your child and tools to help you keep your sanity while your parenting. Based on my experience both as a mother and a psychotherapist, intention setting is a powerful and super easy way to reduce anxiety. It’s a nifty little tool I taught my children when they were really young (probably 4 years old) and has made its’ way into all of our lives as a result. Here’s why I like it as a way of easing back to school jitters:
- It helps your child get clear and focused on what it is they want from the school year.
- It offers some semblance of control when anxiety is high and…
- It works!
It’s like setting a goal in your mind and going after it before it happens. Intention is the starting point of everything we achieve.
This guided intention can be read to your child in the days or weeks leading up to their return to school. You can read it once and be done or read it once a day until school finally starts. Feel free to tweak it for other purposes and if you do end up using it, I’d love to hear what you think. So please leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to get back to you.
I like to set intention either upon waking up or right at bedtime but anytime is good as long as you find some quite space. So pick one and have your child sit up or lie down in a comfortable position and read the script below in a soothing, calm voice.
Guided Intention Setting for Back to School
Close your eyes and begin to relax by breathing nice and slowly. Inhaling through your nose pausing for a moment and then exhaling through your nose. In…….and out…….In…..and out…..
Continue to breathe like this for a another minute. (pause)
Relax your eyes (pause). Relax your cheeks (pause) and your mouth (pause) until your entire face begins to feel deeply relaxed (pause) deeply relaxed (pause).Continue to breathe slowly and deeply and let your entire body…arms and legs be deeply relaxed (pause) deeply relaxed (pause). If any thoughts enter your mind (pause) don’t push them away. Let them do whatever they need to do and then watch these thoughts float away. Then gently bring your attention back to your breathing (pause).
Now in your minds eye, I want you to begin to imagine exactly how you want the school year to be for you (Pause). Imagine the first day of school and imagine it with as many details as you can (pause) Say to yourself… “I am open to having a wonderful year (pause) filled with amazing experiences; filled with lots of good friends and teachers. I am liked by my teachers and see myself getting good grades. I am open to learning amazing things. I see myself getting my school work and homework done easily each day. I go through my days calmly, feeling good about who I am (pause). I enjoy being me. Now take this entire image that you see in your mind and put it inside of a pink balloon (pause). And let go of the balloon with everything in it and watch it fly away.” (this is symbolic of letting go and having faith).
Now take a few more deep breaths and when you are ready you may open your eyes slowly.