Setting goals aren't just for grownups! Learning to set and accomplish goals at a young age will help kids learn valuable qualities that will help them develop into well-rounded children, adolescents, and adults. Self-confidence is acquired and self-discipline is learned and the realization that they can make a difference when they put their mind to do something are priceless lessons to learn at a young age.
How can you help your children set goals? Here are some tips.
5 Tips to Help Kids Reach Their Goals
- Help them set a goal that is reasonably attainable for their age and skill level. It is better for them to reach 5 small goals, reaffirming he/she is an achiever than to lose self-confidence in a goal that was too big to begin with. It's best to start with a goal that has very few steps that can be accomplished in one day.
- Let them pick the goal. You may be able to cue in on something they wish they could do.
- Talk about how they can achieve the goal.
- Be their cheerleader and support system, but avoid taking over.
- Beware NOT to have your children compete against their siblings to see who can accomplish a goal first or “better.” This can develop resentment and an unhealthy competitive attitude between them.
Some ideas for goals that little kids can achieve:
- Saving money towards a special toy
- Reading a short book or singing a whole song from memory
- Deep cleaning their room (this is a good one for twins to work on together)
- Learning how to do a proper jumping jack, use a jump rope, climb a tree, tie a shoe, ride a bike, or put on their own seat belt
Some bigger goals as your kids get older:
- Saving money towards a special experience, such as a movie night or a trip to a theme park or museum
- Reading for 6 hours over the course of a month (with or without parent help)
- Helping out in the community, such as donating 3-6 hours a month to a dog shelter, food pantry, or seniors center.
As your kids get older they can handle more complex goals that take a few days, a week or a month to accomplish. Keep these additional things in mind as well:
- Help them reassess their progress every day.
- Help them learn from setbacks to be constructive and help them move forward.
- Have a visual to see how far they have come. Set up a chart that is visible to your child, review it with them often.
- Set a good example. Let them see you reaching your goals.
- Try setting a goal as a family and work towards it together. This will bring you together and will encourage teamwork.
For tips about reaching your own grownup goals, read How to Reach Your Goals.