When Glad.is posted our “How to Create a Vision Board that Works” series, many readers wrote in and asked us if we thought parents could help kids create vision boards as a tool for setting goals for kids.
Our response: Absolutely, maybe even better than adults! It’s a magical process that helps kids begin to learn and understand that indeed, we are responsible for our own happiness and creating the life we want.
Kids are so good at being present and tuning into things that matter, their ability to create a vision board that is full of images of their greater dreams and desires will inspire you as parent.
My twin 7 year old daughters joined my vision board circle that I held with a few friends. In the circle, we adults went over the basic premise of what to include on a vision board:
For your vision board to be more than just a bunch of pretty pictures, you have to first do some reflecting about what’s most important to you and what you really want.
Make sure that you’re not focused on extrinsic goals. If you end up with a vision board that is full of big mansions, 6 pack abs, or celebrities, you are focusing on extrinsic goals. Extrinsic goals are all about obtaining external validation of self-worth. Wishing for things like being rich, famous and ‘hot’ will not only not make you happy, wishing for them will actually diminish your self-worth because you are interfering with the pursuit of goals that will really benefit you.
Instead, your vision board must focus on intrinsic goals like developing relationships, personal growth, making a contribution, or creating a soulful space where you feel comfortable, safe and inspired. Include both vacations or retreats where you can refresh and renew. But also include visions of what you’d like your daily life to be like. Include real photos of yourself and/or your own family where you look healthy, happy and vibrant in your board. (click here to read the whole article about how to make a vision board that works.)
And for the kids I gave them slightly simpler instruction: ”Vision Boards must be about your deepest dreams of what you want when you listen to you heart. You can’t dream about toys or things we buy that only make you happy for a few minutes. You must use your heart to imagine yourself creating a happy life – this is a fun art project to help you think about what your happiest life would look like, what things you would like to achieve. What you want to do, who you want to be, and how you can help others.”
And just like that, they got it. No pictures of Furbys or Beanie Boos were cut out. To my surprise, one wrote found pictures that represented really strong values and asked each one of us in the circle to write her words for her (love, happiness, adventure, togetherness, “notice things” which we talked more about and I realized she was saying “be present.”)
The other focused on helping and protecting animals, and covered her boards with pictures of animals and words like “gift of happiness,” and “make magic.”
Attached are pictures of our Vision Boards in Progress – it’s a process, and we leave them up in the living room until we’ve filled it with images of things that our hearts are calling for.
Have you done vision boards with your kids? Did they surprise you with their ability to understand the greater concept as much as ours did?