Children thrive in environments that foster learning, understanding, and exploration, and your relationship with them as a parent or guardian is there to give them the tools they need to succeed both personally and academically. One of the most important tools for your child to learn is goal setting.
According to research conducted by the University of Scranton, more than 90 percent of people who set New Year’s goals for themselves don’t achieve them. Does that sound unbelievable? Encourage your children to chase their dreams and aspirations, and make them realize it is possible to consistently and effective accomplish the goals you set for yourself – it all begins with setting goals that are reasonable.
Goal-setting is important to the growth of any child. Your child will use this skill throughout his or her life, in many different situations and circumstances, and it’s best to practice it together early on. Fortunately, there are a number of ways to teach the skill of goal setting to your child and encourage them to practice the skill independently through faith. Below are a few simple steps to teach your child the skill of goal setting and how to do it effectively.
1. First, set reasonable goals. Teach your child the difference between reasonable and unreasonable goals. Help them to recognize the time it takes to accomplish things, and whether the task is truly achievable. Children can do whatever they set their minds to, that part is true, but the key to setting reasonable goals begins with recognizing what it takes to get the job done.
2. Come up with a plan. Goals are achieved through thoughtful planning and strategy. Having a plan is particularly useful when your child is working toward a long-term goal. Work together to develop a course of action that is manageable. If the goal is school-related, reach out to teachers to work with them to discuss your child’s goals and how you can all work together to develop a plan away from home.
3. Be consistent. Sticking to our goals is often the hardest part of the entire process. It can be difficult to always feel determined and to find the motivation to continue making progress. Assure your child that the journey that is goal setting will be frustrating at times, but that the feeling of accomplishing the goals he or she has set are well worth the struggle. Together, talk about the challenges of the goal and how they best be overcome.
4. Trust in God. Having faith and trust in God will uplift your child’s spirits and encourage them to keep working toward his or her goals. Invite your child to pray together, to find the strength and determination to complete the tasks set before him or her with grace and skill.