While many adults set goals and New Year’s resolutions not many children attempt to do this. Why not help your children set goals or resolutions for the coming school year?
A number of teachers have asked their students to identify 3 to 5 goals to accomplish during the school year and there is no reason why your child cannot set a goal and this is a great habit for them to get into. Their goal could be something as simple as reading one book each month or learning how to print their name by their 4th birthday. Other goals could be to learn how to tie their shoes or even to help mom in the kitchen at dinner time.
Getting your children into the habit of setting goals and reaching them will help them in all areas of their lives. They will learn it is possible to set a goal and reach it and that this process can actually be a fun one.
You could always make your child’s goal relate to yours in some way or another. By doing this, everyone in the family can be working on similar things. For example, you may want to exercise more so why not involve your kids too? Help them decide what type of exercise or sport they would like to participate in. Family sports include things like skating, skiing, hiking, cycling, walking and running. Or you could all sign up for a self-defense class.
Once your child has decided on their new goal help them write it down and create a date for it to be in place. Try not to make the decision for them, give them ideas and suggestions but let them make the final choice.
Even very young children can set a goal for themselves, whether it is just cleaning their room or learning to get dressed without any help. Be available to give them help when it is needed, but allow them to try and figure out how to reach their own goals.
You should encourage your children to set a goal that can be achieved in a relatively short time frame. Getting them to learn how to tie up their own running shoes by spring would be a good example. Goal dates could be based around the changing of the seasons, based on their birthday or for the start of your annual family vacation.
Children will have a much shorter attention span so it is important that you are there to give them encouragement and support as needed. It may not be necessary for them to work on their goal every single day. Maybe putting some time aside on the weekend is sufficient.
Older children can have larger goals, possibly ones where they have to save money in order to get something they have dreamed of owning. Or you may offer to pay half if they save up the other half. This teaches children that they have to work to get things in life. Plus they will value their new item more if they had to spend some of their own cash for it!
Once your child reaches their goal let them know how proud you are of them. Share their success with other family members too. Then encourage them to set a new goal. Goals can be set around personal achievements, the desire for a new toy or wanting to join a new sports team or take up a new hobby.
If their goal is a little harder for them to achieve, help them write out a plan of smaller steps so that they can actually reach their goals. Remember to help them learn to enjoy their journey by making it fun.