Steps For Helping Your Kids Set Goals
As an adult you have learned the importance of setting goals and taking the necessary steps for how you will reach them. However, a lot of us didn’t learn about goal setting until we were adults. Unfortunately, you can’t go back and change that now, but you can pass the knowledge on to your kids. The earlier they learn, the sooner they can begin applying it to anything they do from extra-curricular activities to academics.
Let Them Choose Their Big Goal
If your child has a genuine desire to reach a goal, they will be more motivated and driven to be successful. As a parent you have your own goals for your children, but you should help push your child into deciding what they truly want to accomplish for themselves. Try asking questions like:
- What is something you wish you could achieve?
- What is a challenge that you wish you could overcome?
- What would you do if you knew you couldn’t fail?
Help your child brainstorm just one major goal they want to achieve this year. Focusing on just one goal gives them a better chance of achieveing it. Your child needs to be able to recognize their progress toward their goal. Make sure the goal is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound also known as S.M.A.R.T. goals. This allows your child to track their progress and see if they are close to attaining their goal.
Discuss The Purpose of Their Goal
Your child must really understand their “why” in order to be motivated to reach their goals. Why do they want to achieve this goal? Why does it matter? What is the purpose?
When kids see a purpose for what they’re learning, they are more willing to “buy-in” to the process and perform better. This applies to when your child is setting goals. When they understand the purpose of their goal and what it will benefit, they will be more motivated to achieve it.
Break the Goal into Smaller Steps
An effective goal should be reasonably within reach. Help your child break their long-term goal into more manageable short-term steps to get them to where they want to be. To help your child visualize the step-by-step process, try creating a goal ladder. At the top of the ladder write down the big goal your child wants to achieve, then work your way through the small steps that your child has to take to get there. By creating incremental goals, it keeps your child motivated and also gives them more opportunities to celebrate small victories along the way.
When a goal is achieved, make a big deal about it! Celebrating a child’s accomplishments help boost their confidence and fuels their desire to continue on the path to success. Take them out to dinner or let them choose a fun activity to do when they achieve one of their goals. This helps train your child to know that what they are doing is exciting and important.
Teaching children the essential life skill of setting and achieving goals is one of a parent’s most critical roles. These ideas can help any parent launch their children into achievement and helping them accomplish what they want most in their lives.