Written By: Parenting Contributor, Prerna Malik, TheMomWrites.com
As a parent, we want our children to explore their potential to the fullest and one simple but effective way to do that is by setting goals. However, children, like adults, need to set goals that are realistic and will help them move forward.
So, how do they do that? Here are some tips to help you and your kids set goals for 2013 instead of mere resolutions that tend to get forgotten and broken:
1. Choose a Goal that is Specific and Realistic
Firstly, kids shouldn’t just pick random goals. A goal is different from a resolution because not only is it really specific but it also has a purpose. Moreover, a good goal is realistic. Your child may set a goal for learning the piano but if he wants to learn it in one week, you need to help him realize that isn’t possible.
2. Set a Deadline
Goals, unlike resolutions, have deadlines. You can’t set a goal without setting a time limit in which to achieve it. Again, help your child set a realistic time limit. Break or divide goals into short-term and long-term goals. For instance, waking up at 6 AM can be a short-term goal while winning the swim meet can be a long-term goal.
3. Break the Goal Into Steps
Sit down with your child and break down the steps needed to achieve a particular goal. If winning the swim meet at the end of the year is your kids’ goal, how would he achieve it? How many hours of extra practice can he devote? What other inputs are needed? Steps make a goal achievable and help kids move forward.
4. Kids’ Goals Should Be Kids’ Goals
As parents, we may unknowingly place our goals ahead of our child’s goals. We may want straight As but our child may be happier aspiring to learn taekwondo. So, let your kids’ goals be his or hers alone and support them as they work towards achieving them.
5. Track Progress
Finally, a goal is a goal only when we track and monitor its progress. Have weekly or monthly check-ins with your child about how they’re faring. Encourage them should the progress not be as expected and motivate them to keep going.
So, in January, help your child discover and unleash his fullest potential by encouraging him to set goals and not resolutions. You’ll be surprised at how much kids can achieve when they have a goal and an action plan in place.
Terri K (@tkharmonic) says
Interesting that it says “piano”, because my son got a keyboard for Christmas (early) and will start taking lessons once school starts back up. I’m trying to come up with a list of easy songs for kids to learn to play and have him choose one or more of the songs as one of his goals.