Sometimes, people fail to achieve their goals because they never learned how to set them well. Regardless of your dreams, being pragmatic and prepared will help you achieve them. This applies not just to adults but children as well.
Children must be taught how to set goals before they move on to achieve greater things in life. It’s like building a solid foundation for the edifice that they hope to build one day. And much like Rome, which wasn’t built in a day, your child should persevere to reach them.
Learn about the importance of goal setting for kids and ways to teach it to children in this post. We also give you a few goal-setting activities that you could do with your children.
Why Is Goal Setting Important For Kids?
A life without goals is a life without a destination. Your child is born with boundless energy and can achieve an awful lot if they learn how to set goals and achieve them in the right way.
Here are a few reasons why goal setting is crucial for kids.
- It helps kids become responsible.
- It helps them make good decisions.
- It improves self-confidence and promotes independence.
- It teaches perseverance.
- It instills a ‘can-do’ attitude in them.
How To Teach Goal Setting To Children?
While setting goals is of significance, parents often struggle to teach their children how to do it. Here’s how you can go about it.
1. Review and reflect
Ask your child to write down their goals and the steps they should take to get there. At the end of the week, sit with them and review their progress. Let your child reflect on what worked and what did not. This will help them reflect on their actions and perform better.
2. Make course corrections
Children have wavering minds and may often change their minds as time passes. Their goals may need to be updated or modified accordingly. For instance, while going through football lessons, they may take a liking for defense. This doesn’t take anything away from the bigger picture of being a football player; however, their plans and actions may now need a few tweaks to ensure they become a good defender.
3. Start as early as possible
Start as early as possible, and take every opportunity to teach them goal setting. For example, while having a family get-together, let them do the planning — from picking the groceries to preparing the guest list. At the end of the event, your kid may realize the importance of goal setting and even take a liking for it.
4. Help them plan their day, week, and month
Goals aren’t achieved overnight. It is essential to break them down into smaller and doable chunks. Teach your children to build a goal ladder that spans across the day, week, and month. Micro-planning their daily routine to incorporate a list of goals could help them know their progress.
5. Choose an area of improvement
Ask your child to identify an area of improvement in their goal-setting journey. For instance, if your child wishes to be a painter, ask them to assess an area they need to put more effort into. It could be perfecting the lines or learning how to merge colors.
6. Let them make independent decisions
Instead of enabling everything for your children, give them a chance to make independent decisions. By allowing them to do so, you teach them to be responsible for their actions and organically take various steps to achieve the desired result.
7. Teach children about perseverance
Perseverance is the tonic that can keep you going when things seem impossible. Kids at school can be taught to persevere at a sport they aren’t able to get right. Similarly, at home, you can teach them how to perfect making their bed each day, even if they can’t do it well at present.
8. Encourage children to look to the future
Futuristic thinking will enable children to set realistic goals and ace them when the time comes. If they wish to be doctors, they should learn about human anatomy and score better grades in science. Thinking about the future will provide them with a vision and let them know what’s required to achieve their goals.
9. Be realistic about what your child can achieve
While encouraging your child to set goals, remember not to be too overbearing on them. Teach them to set modest goals. It is essential to be realistic about what and how much your child can achieve.
10. Define the steps necessary to accomplish the goals
Ask your kids to lay down the steps that are necessary to achieve their penultimate goal. Spend time in defining and planning each step. This will help them break down the big dream into tiny and achievable steps.
11. Applaud their effort
Kids can get easily overwhelmed if you ask them to plan the next five years or more of their lives in one go. This is why it is vital to break down big goals and applaud your child efforts to reach them. Appreciate small steps, including the failures.
12. Lead by example
It is no news that children emulate their parents and learn from them. It is therefore important for you to be open with your children about your own goals. Share your plans with them and make them a part of your journey. Seeing you achieve your dreams will automatically encourage them to reach out for their own.
Goal-Setting Activities For Children
To make teaching goal-setting fun, here’s a list of activities you can indulge your children in.
1. Create an illustrative journal
Help your child create a “goal journal.” They could use pictures, charts, drawings, and colors to bring their goals and steps to achieve them to life.
2. Draw an interest map
Ask your kids to write down their interests using sticky notes. Put them up on a wall and ask them to join similar interests with threads.
3. Make a vision board
Create a vision board and ask your children to write down their dreams on it. Supplement it with positive affirmations and words of encouragement regularly.
4. Form a wheel of fortune
Create a wheel of fortune illustrating different types of goals. For each goal, ask your child to lay down steps and a realistic timeline.
5. Write a letter
Ask your children to write a letter to their future selves, listing down goals and the steps they would take to achieve them. Review the letter at the end of the year and allow them to reflect on how far they have reached.
Use the tip and fun activities listed in this post to encourage realistic goal setting in children. Be careful not to overburden them; instead, encourage them to set realistic goals independently. And remember to celebrate both success and failure.