If you try this little technique (it only takes a few minutes, max) it will make your outings with kids - of any age - easier, or more relaxing, or more fun, or more in the flow than ever before.
What is it this technique?
I'll tell you!
Set your intent.
Your brain will look for what you tell it to. Unless you don't tell it anything, in which case it will look at what IS. If you love what is, you're golden. If you are late, frazzled, frustrated, faced with untied shoes, someone-forgot-their-water, and other things that hassle you then, well, not so golden. More of a tarnished, rusty color. Covered in dirt. Like your kid dug it up in the backyard with one of your good spoons.
So... tell your brain what to focus on!
We do this out loud in my car. For example, if I am taking the kids to the Aquarium I might say, "My intent is to bring my Inner Being with me. To flow. To feel like the Universe is organizing everything easily for my benefit. To see love. To feel love. And to enjoy my amazing kids, And So It Is."
Everyone repeats, "And So It Is."
We say "And So It Is" so that we know when someone is finished. This way each person has time to think about what they want, listen to their intuition, and say it all without interruptions, even if they pause in between sentences for some time.
And we repeat "And So It Is" because it's our way of saying, "I support you in your intent. Yay!"
We take turns, but not in order. They call it Popcorn Style. "Anyone want to go next?"
And no one is required to set an intent or is shamed for not setting one. Ever. It really, truly is optional.
Sometimes my intent is short.
"My intent is to laugh out loud and have a blast!"
Sometimes my intent is aimed at calm.
"My intent is to feel relaxed."
Sometimes I don't know what exactly to ask for, so I intend how I want to feel when it is over.
"My intent is that I come home feeling amazing, reconnected, and rejuvenated, and totally in love with my family and life."
I use this setting intent process to gage where I am, to hear what my own needs are, and to choose what I want to attract and experience and feel throughout my outing whether it's a trip to the park, a family birthday party, or the zoo.
Do we set intent every time?
No. Not every time. Because for me, "every time" feels like a chore.
We set intent when I feel inspired to. When I can tell we need to redirect our focus (read: people are cranky or fussy) or when we are going on a long trip or Big Outing and I, for one, need to keep my ducks in a row because when mom's ducks are not in a row, it gets really quacky.
Sometimes one of the kids will pipe up, "Mom! We need to set our intent!" They know what's what. They really do.
Not only will setting intent in the car help your outings go more smoothly, it's fun to hear what your child/ren come up with. Plus, it feels so good to see them set their intent to be happy, healthy, and loving.
I don't know about you, but that makes me do a little dance in my bucket seat.