It gives us a sense of purpose, and once we achieve them, a feeling of exhilarating accomplishment.
Getting kids to set goals may be something that has never crossed your mind, but goal-setting for kids gives them the same feelings as does adults.
If you have never considered going through with this, it may be time to do that for your kids.
They should be encouraged to set goals for their personal development, for learning, and in various areas of their interests.
This will go a long way in setting the standards for them to set bigger goals as they grow older and move on to career, work, and family life.
A Goal may seem like a big word for a child to even understand, but you'll be amazed at how well your goal-setting session will turn out if you do it right.
You can go with the following guidelines in going through with setting goals with your child:
- Identify your child's interests. The easiest goals to set are those that have to do with things that we love to do. For instance, if your child loves to read, you may set goals on reading a certain number of books per week. Or starting to write a book, or a journal if the child's interest is in writing. The goal may even be to improve on their handwriting, eating habits, sleeping patterns, bible reading, save towards something...anything really.
- Encourage Age-appropriate Goals. Having a five-year old set a goal to write a thousand-page novel in one year may be quite farfetched, and will only frustrate the child's sense of accomplishment. Help your child to pick goals that are suitable to her age.
- Start Simple. If this is your child's first experience with setting goals, you may want to pick something small and easy to achieve to encourage him and not get him frustrated. For instance if it's about reading the bible, you may want to start with reading a verse a day, or if it's learning to play an instrument, he may want to start with a not-so-technical instrument.
- Encourage your child to Write Down that Goal. A dream will remain a dream unless it is written down, then it becomes a goal.
- Break the goals into smaller and more manageable steps. For instance, if your child's goal is to be the best student in his class, you may want to help him break down that further by knowing what grade he will need to aim at in each area of learning or subject.
- Help your child to set Time-Frames within which the goals should have been accomplished.
- Model consistency and perseverance so your child knows not to give up on his goals
- Set times for regular review of the goals to ensure that the goals are kept in view, and what more can be done to help in achieving the goal
- Offer some form of praise and encouragement to your child when you see him taking a step towards accomplishing his goal
- Offer encouragement when your child seems to be lagging behind on his goals or experiencing difficulty in achieving it
- In the event that your child is experiencing genuine difficulty in achieving his goal, you may want to review that goal and set a new one that is more suited to your child's ability. As much as we are trying to encourage our kids never to give up, we also want to teach them about when it's okay to let go - successful people know when to quit, admit their mistake and move on.
Setting goals will really help your child to develop confidence in his abilities and encourage him to go for bigger goals the next time. And as your child grows older, he can go on to set personal goals for himself with or without your supervision.
Happy Goal Setting!
I will love to hear from you.
Do you think your child should set goals yet?
Have you tried this before? How did it work out for you?