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As it is the start of a new year, many of us will be coming up with New Year’s resolutions that we want to work towards. As adults, setting goals, like our New Year’s resolutions, is a practice that comes naturally to us as we do it on a continual basis. Goal setting is a good skill to have as it can apply to almost any part of our lives, which is why as parents, we should be teaching our kids how to set goals too.
Teaching our kids to set goals can help them learn new skills and abilities. For example, goal setting can teach kids how to take responsibility for themselves as they are the ones who will be working towards achieving their goal. It can teach them perseverance as reaching goals takes hard work and dedication. It can also be a good way for kids to learn how to manage their time and get into the habit of setting goals in order to reach end results. Not only can they learn new skills from setting goals, but it can also give them the satisfaction of knowing that their hard work can lead to achievements of their own.
The first step to setting a goal is to actually choose one. It is important that your child is the one that chooses the goal because they will more likely be invested in the process if it is something that they are interested in achieving. As parents, we can always help our children with this step by giving them suggestions, but ultimately, it should be their decision as to what goal they would like to set.
Before setting the goal, you should make sure that it is specific, measurable, and achievable. These guidelines will help make it easier for your child to track their progress and ensure that it is a goal that they can realistically achieve.
The goal also doesn’t have to be big or long-term. It is better for your child to set little goals to start, so they can practice and get into the habit of setting goals. Some examples of small goals for kids could be cleaning their room, finishing a new book, saving up for a new toy, making a new friend, etc. Little goals can be the stepping stones to creating and achieving bigger goals as they grow older.
At first glance, goals can sometimes look very big and challenging, which can be overwhelming for a child. That is why it is important to help them break the goal down into smaller and more approachable steps. Let’s say their goal is to help bake cookies for their class bake sale. This goal can be broken down into the following steps: finding a recipe, making a list of needed ingredients, going grocery shopping for the ingredients, gathering all the needed supplies in the kitchen, and so on. Breaking the goal down into smaller steps will help your child create a manageable plan to achieve their goal.
Achieving a goal takes hard work, which is why it is important that we, as parents, are encouraging and praising our kids when they make progress. Giving them a small compliment when they achieve a step towards their goal can give them the needed motivation and encouragement to keep going.
Adding an element of fun to the goal-setting process will help your kids stay engaged and interested in reaching their goal. Here is a list of some toys that can help make the process of reaching a goal that much more fun:
It is never too early to start teaching your kids how to set goals and achieve them. So, have fun with the process and help your kids thrive!