In my last blog I wrote about 5 Reasons Why We Should Create a Vision Board. Today I want to talk about the benefits of creating one with your children and how to go about it.
Over Christmas my brother and his 5 children were coming to visit. I decided to try out the vision board concept with them. Little did I know that what I thought would be a creative way to pass the time on a hot day could powerfully impact all who were involved for years to come.
This is what I discovered. Creating a vision board with children . . .
- Gets them thinking more deeply about what is important in their lives.
- Opens up conversations about what is good for them and what isn’t.
- Encourages them to dream big and even perhaps to try new things.
- Allows them to take some responsibility for what happens in their life and not just rely on parents all the time.
- Helps them make healthy decisions for themselves.
- Allows them to communicate to parents what is important to them.
- Creates good habits of goal setting, planning and designing the life they want and the person they want to be.
- Fosters creativity, courage, excitement, passion, hope and even self control.
- Is a quality bonding time for parents and children.
- Is a constant visual reminder to them throughout the year of what is important – might even save some nagging reminders from parents even!
HOW TO GO ABOUT IT:
It is important that you set the scene for the children. Don’t just get them to go straight to magazines and cut out things they like and stick it on a board. If they do this it may become a very materialistic and superficial exercise. You want them to consider all the different areas of their life and think about what they want to achieve in those areas. At Made To Thrive, we call this the “Thriving Five”. This is what we did:
We started out by tracing our hand on to a piece of paper. Then I preceded to talk with them about the “Thriving Five”: Spirit, Soul, Body, Relationships and Stewardship.
SPIRIT: We talked about the things that like to do that makes them feel closer to God, like singing, going to church or youth-group, going for a walk in a beautiful place, praying or helping someone in need and so forth. They then wrote down what was important to them next to the thumb.
SOUL: here we talked about what they would particularly like to learn about this year and also what sort of positive emotions they would like to display, like kindness, joy, generosity (maybe even patience and self control??). They listed these things near the pointer finger.
BODY: Next we talked about what it means to have a healthy body and what sort of things we should do with our body. They listed healthy things to eat and ways they want to move this year next to their middle finger.
RELATIONSHIPS: We talked about the significant relationships in their life and maybe some things they would like to do with those people.
STEWARDSHIP: Finally we talked about what we do with our time, talent and treasure. Treasure encompasses things that they are responsible for, like looking after their toys or room or family pet; or things they might be saving their pocket money for. Time is about how we use it to reach our other goals like learning a new instrument or playing sport or catching up with our friends. Talents are those things they are interested in developing like singing or playing soccer or gymnastics or art. Stewardship is also about looking after our environment and helping others. They wrote anything that came to mind here next to their little pinky finger.
After having a good think about what each of the children wanted to see, do or feel in the year ahead we hit the magazines. They cut out anything that they came across that resonated with what they had written or talked about for their thriving five. If they couldn’t find something in the magazine we went to the computer to find it there and print it out. For example one of my nieces had been reading a book on saving. So she found a picture of a piggy bank on the computer and typed up quotes from the book and included them on her vision board.
For the next couple of hours they worked industriously on their vision boards. I was amazed at how they worked and for how long. There was a palpable excitement as they completed their works of art. Here they are with their finished results:
Have you ever done anything like this with your children? I would love to hear about your experiences with vision boards feel free to comment below.