Setting Goals with Your Children in 2013
Children are naturally goal-setters. They express dreams of what they want to be when they grow up: a firefighter, doctor, scientist or teacher. More than 6,000 children shared their dreams of what they want to be when they grow up in our “I dream to be…” Kumon Art Contest. We saw many ideas, including a dancing lawyer, DJ, astronaut, author, artist and so on. This is the very beginning of goal setting.
As adults, we realize the importance of setting goals. It is essential that we encourage children to realize each “dream” can become a powerful reality later in life. The confidence boost that comes from setting a goal, working towards it and ultimately achieving it can benefit a child immensely.
Keep the following tips in mind when setting goals with your children:
Repeating a goal makes it stick. Have your children say their goal out loud to remind themselves of what they want and what they’re working towards. You may even want to have your children write it down in a journal. Every time they remind themselves of their goal, they’re training their brains to make it happen.
Roadblocks don’t mean failure. Mistakes are an important part of the learning process. It may take a few tries to reach a goal. Remind your children that it’s okay, and may even be necessary, to amend plans to achieve a desired result. Encourage your children to remain positive and focused on the goal.
Set a specific goal. Have your children set a clear goal. It’s easier to implement a plan for a goal, such as, “I’m going to recycle all my plastic bottles, soda cans and magazines every month,” compared to the more ambiguous, “I’m going to do more for the environment.” By setting small, specific goals, children are more eager to achieve the task at hand.
Remember, when reaching a goal becomes challenging, talk to your children about what they are learning along the way. Valuable lessons are always learned when planning and setting a goal. Encourage your children not to give up.
Gaining the ability to persevere is a valuable gift with benefits that will last a lifetime. This skill will empower children to achieve wonderful things in every area of life.