Get an A on a math test. Score a point in today’s game. Don’t cry when I drop you off at school. Learning how to set goals is so important for your children. It is just as important as achieving goals.
How To Set Goals
Setting goals and knowing the skills for achieving them is an important life skill. Teaching kids about goals from an early age can boost their confidence and help them face bigger challenges later in life with a calm and methodical approach. Having something to work towards provides a sense of purpose, and learning how to deal with setbacks on the path to achieving a goal will also help kids to develop lifelong skills in dealing with stress and challenges.
How you can help your child learn how to set goals:
Make the goals their own: Let your kids decide their goals for themselves, rather than tell them what they should be working towards. They have a much greater chance of success if the goal they are working towards is something that they are passionate about. Of course, you can always use prompts to guide your child in making choices about which goals to set. Have a conversation with them about what they might like to achieve. Try questions like; What new skill would you like to learn? What is something you would like to do more of this year? What kind or helpful act would you like to accomplish?
Make the goals realistic: Start small. Goals can be set for kids of all ages, even preschoolers, but keep it simple, and be sure that the goal is suited to the age and skill of your child.
Be a mentor: Show enthusiasm for the goals your child has selected. Enthusiasm is contagious and your energy will inspire your child to give it their best effort. There will also be times when your child loses momentum or encounters setbacks. This is a great learning opportunity. Be a guide and mentor when things don’t go to plan.
A simple four step plan for achieving goals with kids.
So what are the steps to actually making your child’s dream a reality? How do we help them to turn a goal into a realistic, achievable task? Here’s a simple plan that will break up the goals into manageable steps. Once the goal is broken down into easy to accomplish stages, even the biggest dream will feel within reach.
1. Choose the goals. Write down your child’s goals. They could even make a poster and hang it on the fridge or the bedroom wall.
2. Set a time frame. Decide a date by which your child would like to accomplish their goal. You may need to guide them here to help them keep it realistic.
3. Break the goal down into stages. What concrete steps need to be taken to reach the goal? Write down everything that needs to be done. For example, if the goal is to learn to swim, the steps might be to find a swim school, buy a bathing suit and goggles, determine what days your child can attend swim classes etc
4. Plan. Write down exactly when your child will perform each of the steps that were determined in step 3. For the example of learning to swim, Week 1 – research swim schools in your local area. Week 2 – book classes and buy a bathing suit. Week 3 – begin classes.
5. Celebrate. When your child achieves their goal – celebrate their achievement!
More Kids Activities
It’s hard to learn how to set goals. But we hope that these ideas will help get your child on the road to setting and achieving goals. For more kids activities that teach important life skills, take a look at these ideas: