It’s a new year! With a new year comes New Year’s Resolutions. A resolution is a promise that you make to yourself. I don’t know about you, but when I make a resolution, I don’t tend to stick with it after a month or two. Instead of making a resolution, why don’t we focus on goals. A goal is an aim for a desired outcome, striving to achieve something great.
Making goals as a family will help to strengthen your family bonds and teach kids to have ambition at an early age. Achieving goals also helps children to feel a sense of accomplishment. A great way to do this is to have your child make one or two goals for themselves at the beginning of a new year, new season, or even when entering a new transition for the family such as moving or changing schools.
For a child to make and achieve their goals the child must first take ownership with their goal. As a parent, we all have aspirations for our child(ren). But telling a child what their goal should be can be discouraging to the child. There is a difference between telling and guiding. This is where a parent can step in and give proper guidance for the child when goal setting. Ask the child questions to help them decide on a meaningful goal. Explain to them what a goal is and how to set them. While guiding your child, you help them have a voice in their decision, giving them a sense of self and self-worth.
Next, decide on a timeline. How long will it take to meet this goal? Having a timeline helps to motivate the child to keeping to a set schedule by creating a sense of urgency. Be sure to guild the child to a realistic timeline. It takes time to build the habits needed to achieve a goal. Change does not happen overnight.
What steps should the child take to attain their goal and how can you as a parent help your child succeed? The key is to come up with steps to follow to reach their goal. Creating steps helps to be sure there is a map to follow to succeed.
It is necessary to understand why the goal is important. When it is important to the child then he or she will work harder meet their goal, build self-confidence, and reach their full potential. Understanding the importance helps children to have a desire to succeed.
It is not enough to say, “I want to do better in school.” Is there a subject or aspect about school in which the child would like to improve? Let’s say math is a subject of struggle. The goal could then be to improve math by a letter grade or certain percentage. Maybe because a new quarter is starting, the child can set two timelines, one for the quarter and one for the semester. Some steps to improve math scores could be to ask more questions during class, study math facts, and take timed tests to improve speed in answering. Improving in math is important because math is a progression building on skills. First the basics are learned then it builds from there. Having mastery of the skill will help the child to progress successfully throughout all of their school years.
Once your child has decided on a goal, write it down and help them succeed by checking in on them and their steps to achieve their goals.
Health & Wellness Coordinator
Lead Preschool Teacher