The Umbrella Project

Parent Newsletter – Purpose

“Purpose is the feeling that the things we do and the choices we make have meaning and make a difference.  It makes us feel happier and more confident and gives us a set of guiding principles that help us make decisions. When kids have a sense of purpose it is easier for them to keep going when things get difficult because they can see a bigger picture. This can make them less likely to get stuck in the small trivial details that don’t matter in the long run.” ~ Dr. Jen Forristal, Founder of the Umbrella Project

Purpose Tip #1 – Do a family culture brainstorm – can be anything from the types of foods you choose to the leisure activities you do together to the higher principles you value.  What do you value most as a family? What characteristics do I have that I am most proud of? What brings me joy? What have I done lately that makes me feel meaningful?

Purpose Tip #2 – Make your child a participating member of the family – ask them how to best solve the parenting difficulties you face; get them involved in travel planning – giving kids a voice is empowering and feeds the development of their sense of purpose.

Purpose Tip #3 – Help your child set their own goals and follow through – make sure you check in with your child to learn what they care about. Prioritize their personal, optional goals at the same level as the mandatory ones. Help your child learn to set their own goals. Then, break these goals down into small, manageable steps that will fit into their schedules.

Purpose Tip #4 – Share your purpose with your children – Take some time to reflect and share what gives you a sense of purpose with your children.  They learn from our life experiences.


To read the letter in its entirety, click on the link below: