The start of a new year is a great time to teach kids about goal setting. I’m a firm believer that kids should learn how to set goals, whether they are realistic and small or outrageously far-fetched. Reaching for things makes us better people . . . no matter how big (or small) we are.
I’m honestly not a huge fan of New Year’s resolutions in their traditional form because they never seem to last. Short-term goals are much more my style, Short term also means the end is in sight which is perfect for younger kids who are just learning how to set goals.
Here are my tips for helping kids set goals:
Make a Measurable Goal
Setting goals that are measurable is important no matter how old you are but it’s essential for young kids who need to see clear progress. My 5 year old’s resolution this year is to read/be read to for 20 minutes a day. That’s an easy one to track because he can just cross off each day on a calendar that he reaches his goal. It will give him a great sense of accomplishment to see all those days checked off and a great confidence booster as he reaches his goal.
Young kids (and all of us actually) shouldn’t set unreachable goals. Set kids up for success by helping them set a goal that is realistic for them. Your toddler may set a goal to put his own shoes away when he comes into the house. A preschooler can set a goal to remember to brush her teeth twice a day. The goal is to stay simple and help kids build confidence. Once they feel confident with smaller goals it will be easier for them to reach those bigger goals . . . like becoming an astronaut.
Let your Kids Set the Goal
Kids are much more invested in something that they feel a part of. Sit down with your kids and find out what is important to them. You’ll probably have to guide young kids towards a goal but you can use ideas that they come up with.
Are you making New Year’s resolutions with your kids this year? What are they?