A Step-By-Step Guide To Setting Goals With Your Child

A Step-By-Step Guide To Setting Goals With Your Child

Many kids have dreams and ideas on what they want to accomplish, but it can be hard to remember with so many other activities going on. That’s why creating a goals list with your child is a great way to keep their goals in mind and work towards achieving them.

Why create a list of goals with your child for the year?

Creating lists in general allows for better structure, accountability, and productivity, regardless of the topic. That’s why for kids to turn their goals into a reality, it helps to have a list in one place to plan and serve as a reminder. To create a list, we put together this step-by-step guide on how to help your child set goals.

1. Have a discussion as a family to learn more about your child’s ideas.

Have a discussion as a family to start thinking about the things you’d like to tackle. This can be taking a family vacation, donating items around the house to those in need, or reconnecting with friends that you may not have seen in some time. Kids are often eager to add to the conversation, and it might even bring up some new ideas you haven’t considered. It’s also a great place to start as it will get them excited to consider what they want to do on their own.

A young family with two children make dinner together in the kitchen

2. Ask your child specific questions.

Prompt your child by asking specific questions. For example, is there a place they’d like to visit or explore?Find out where. Somewhere with snow? A place where they can swim? Although some locations may not be as easy to get to as others, it can spark ideas to include on the list. You can also break down the questions into categories such as learning, giving, health and wellness, personal achievements, academics, or even seasonal. Here are some questions for inspiration:

  • How many books do you want to read this year?
  • What new sport do you want to try?
  • What do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Is there a meal or snack you’ve been wanting to make?
  • Do you have items you don’t use anymore that you want to donate?
  • How can you help someone in need this year?

3. Break down their answers into actionable steps.

If your child wants to read 10 books, you can break it down to one book each month. You can also incorporate smaller goals that are related to reading such as getting a library card, reading a book on vacation, or even creating a reading nook at home. The smaller steps will help make that big goal of reading 10 books achievable and a fun process along the way. Breaking down goals into smaller ones can show them that there are so many possibilities that stem from one idea!

A young girl sets goals with her mother

4. Help your child create the list on paper.

Once you have talked through some of your child’s goals, it’s time to create the list. You can have your child write these out, type a list on the computer to print out, or turn it into a vision board to show it in a fun and engaging way. Whichever list method you choose, make sure it can be hung in your home.

5. Hang the list somewhere it will be seen daily.

Now that the list is complete, hang it up in a spot that is seen frequently. Seeing it daily will be a consistent reminder and motivator to achieve these goals. They will be excited to see items that they can check off and work towards more on their list.

A tween girl high fives her mother

6. Revise, add, or remove as goals change throughout the year.

A goals list can always be revised. Once your child learns a new instrument, they may want to learn to play a song. Maybe they realize they don’t love baseball but want to try karate. Continue to discuss the list of goals with your child and revise or add to it. Your child’s goals list for the year is simply a tool to help them think more about what they want to achieve and take action to do it!

7. Recognize and reflect on effort and achievements

It’s exciting to accomplish goals, big or small! Instill a feeling of success by recognizing and celebrating the achievements as well as their efforts along the way. In some cases, maybe the effort is the achievement or perhaps the skill they developed through their efforts. Whatever the case, it will be an amazing experience to reflect on everything that they accomplished and set even more goals moving forward!

The Takeaway

Your child has a lot of things they want to accomplish. Any time is a great time to discuss these goals with them and help create a list they can check in on. Taking the time to set goals with your child will help them get motivated to take action in all areas of their life.