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Goal Setting for Kids – 5 Tips to Keep in Mind

If you have children it’s your responsibility to teach them how to function successfully in life. And a big part of being successful is the ability to achieve goals.

Therefore, goal setting for kids is just as important as it is for adults. It’s also something that must be taught and the earlier the better.

Goal setting for kids encourages and inspires your child to think about what they want to achieve in their present situations at school and at home. But it also teaches them how to look forward and prepare for their future development and even how to make plans for their own adulthood.

As an adult, you might be wondering how to go about helping your children set goals. The first thing to keep in mind is that children learn by example, and as their parent, you need to show them how to set goals by being their guide and their role model.

However, goal setting for kids differs from adult goal setting in that it needs to follow a very simple approach. Here are some important things to bear in mind when helping your kids set their goals.

1. Write down their goals

Let your kids write down their own goals on a piece of paper. It’s always best for them write down their own goals, so they can become responsible for themselves even at a very tender age. If your child isn’t able to write yet, then you may offer assistance.

When writing down goals, ask them why they want to achieve such goals and what will the goal look like after it has been achieved. Have them write all these reasons down in an easy to understand list.

Their list should now contain the following:

  • Each Goal listed separately along with…
    • Why they want to achieve this goal
    • What it will look like when they achieve this goal

2. Let them come up with their own ideas not yours

Be careful not to suggest any dreams or aspirations for them. It’s very important to let them come up with their own ideas and their own goals. Most importantly, if you have to make any suggestions for very young children, be sensitive and don’t force the child to follow your suggestion.

The best way to do this is to talk about your own goals in a simple way or offer ideas of goals that other children might have set to just get their minds working.

Try to be realistic with your child when setting up goals. During their first attempt, goals that your child might suggest may be big and unrealistic, but as a parent, try to help them break these down into mini goals.

An example of goal setting for kids is learning to spell 5 words a week for four weeks, or reading one chapter a night until the entire book is read. This way you introduce your child to the concept of setting goals and then they can work their way up to setting a goal of winning the spelling bee or book reading contest.

Setting small goals at first helps your child learn how to stay focused while keeping the picture of the end result in their mind for motivation.

3. When it comes to goal settings for kids, be careful about suggesting deadlines

It is important to put yourself in your child’s shoes and imagine how they view the world. This way you can better understand a child’s concept of time so you don’t expect or encourage unrealistic time lines for achieving goals. In other words, when helping your kids set goals, be sensitive about the time frames of their biological development.

4. Help your kids to set goals, but don’t attempt to have full control

You should only be an assistant when it comes to monitoring how you child is progressing on a day to day basis. Keep giving guidance instead of giving full direction.

5. The last and most important thing is offer a good example for goal setting

If you assist your child in setting up his goals, then you have to show yourself as a good example by writing down your own goals and letting your children see how you are working towards them on a regular basis.