Encouraging your child to set goals is important because not only can it improve their confidence and build their self-esteem, but it also helps them focus and make better decisions. Along with this, goal setting can be used to motivate your child by ensuring that they achieve smaller goals on a regular basis. With this in mind, teach your children the importance of goal setting and how to go about it.
Children are naturally great goal-setters. They all know what they want to be “when they grow up” and this makes for the beginnings of goal setting. As parents, we should try to encourage and develop these early ideas into the powerful belief that they can go for their big dream and that it will come true if they work hard enough to achieve it.
The idea of goal setting for kids is to get them started in the life-long frame of mind of thinking, planning and taking action in order to achieve results. Make this process easy on yourself: start out with a simple goal that is effortlessly achieved. Below are a couple examples of a process which you can simply replicate.
- Begin the process by looking for ways that your child already uses goal-setting techniques. Go over the steps that your child had to take in order to get what he or she wanted. Talk about how good it feels to accomplish something you’ve worked toward and then discuss how they can do the exact same thing to meet some of their other goals.
- Come up with a fun goal that will be achievable in a short amount of time. For example, “If you help mommy and daddy put your clothes away for a week, you will earn a special treat or reward." Select something that is important to your child but appropriate for the level of work they are doing.
- Create a star chart so your child can monitor their progress each day and how close they are to achieving their goal.
- Reward them if they managed to stick to the plan and achieve the goal they worked so hard for!
As much as we want them to, children may not always achieve their goals, but they will have learned a few valuable lessons about planning and goal setting along the way. More importantly, they probably learned something about themselves. It’s also important to tell them not to lose faith when they don’t reach their goal. After all, life doesn’t always turn out as planned, but going for your dreams is what makes it fun!