The Importance of Setting Intentions – By Jennifer Laurent

Each and every day brings something new in the world of parenting. No matter how much we try to plan or predict the future, the unexpected is sure to happen. If you can allow yourself the space to consider it, this truly is where the fun in parenting lies, in the unpredictability, the unexpectedness, and in the surprises. So much of our lives revolve around routines and schedules. Work, meals, school, and play dates are just a few examples. We know they are coming and we know what to expect. If we can find a way to look forward to the unexpected and find the joy in the unknown, we truly can experience another layer of fulfillment that parenting has to offer.

One way to find joy in the unexpected is through one of my favorite conscious parenting concepts, which teaches parents to set an intention for the type of parent they choose to be. This can be done from as early as before a child is born all the way through their teenage years. In setting an intention, parents are guided to spend time thinking about what parenting means to them. They set out to discover their own goals and the way in which they want their family to look. I encourage parents to think about their belief systems, goals, ideas on discipline, apprehensions, strengths and weaknesses to name a few. Once they come up with their intention, I encourage them to write it down and to live it each and every day, allowing them a guideline and foundation for facing those everyday challenges with excitement rather than apprehension.

My intention as a parent is to be present and authentically parent my child in a way that supports, protects, and inspires him to fulfill his potential as a human being in this universe. With this intention set, I am able to walk clearly and confidently into each new situation that being a parent calls for. I know that my intention is always there for me, giving me guidance and reason for any decisions I will be expected to make. With this foundation, I am able to allow for the unexpected to occur. I am able to fill my world with the beauty of the unknown and all the unpredictability that children bring. I do not find myself worrying about possibilities, outcomes, or consequences because I know my intention will guide me in whatever is necessary.

Being a parent can be filled with joy, excitement, and fulfillment. We can find ways like this one to minimize the stress and exasperation. I truly believe that we all want to have fun with our children and to show them the side of us that is playful and silly, rather than them only seeing us set rules and be “parents.” Setting an intention provides a foundation for just that, the freedom to let go and simply be in the moment with our kids. Not only will a new sense of joy and fulfillment exist for you as a parent, your children will thrive on witnessing your love of the unexpected.