Goal Setting for Kids - Importance and Tips to Teach

How To Teach Goal Setting to Children – 6 Effective Tips

People who set goals in life are not only driven to achieve them, but they achieve them too. A person who has a purpose in life has a reason to get up and work for it. Even kids should be taught about setting goals in life and working for them. If you set monthly or yearly goals, it is suggested that you pass on this habit of yours to your child as well. Whether it is about setting academic goals or other goals, teach your child about setting a goal from an early age. If you are wondering how you can teach him, read this article. This article describes what goal setting is and how one can teach it to children about it.

What Does Goal Setting Mean?

Goal setting is planning for the future. For example, if a child makes a plan to study for his test or prepare for his big basketball game, then this is ‘goal setting’. Similarly, if a child decides that he wants to become a pilot in the future, then this is his goal of life. We set goals in life, but we don’t really work for them. To achieve any goal, proper planning and consistent efforts are necessary. Therefore, planning for how you will achieve a particular target or goal is what goal setting is all about.

Why Is Goal Setting Important for Kids?

Goal setting gives a purpose or direction to kids. This way your child knows what he is expected to do to achieve a particular target. This will increase his self-esteem, focus, and even help him in making better decisions. It is also observed that kids who have some goals to look forward to, tend to perform better than kids who do not have any goals in their lives.

How to Help Your Child in Goal Setting

Here are some ways that you may follow to teach kids about goal setting:

1. Start Small

When you start teaching your child about goal setting, start with small goals. You can set monthly or weekly goals and then gradually move to bigger goals. His small achievements will make him happy and he will be determined to set other goals and motivated to work hard for them.

2. Let Your Kid Follow His Dreams

It is very important that what you want your kid to achieve should be of his liking too. Imagine if your kid wants to be a cricketer and you integrate his efforts into becoming a good pianist. This may not work and will only draw you apart from your kid. Let your child discover his passion and help him work for it.

3. Lead By Example

Kids love to follow their parents, and if they see you doing something, chances are they may do it too. So, involve your kid in your planning strategies too, of course, the ones that are age-appropriate. If you are making a new kitchen garden, you can involve your kid in planning for the same. He will enjoy planning with you and he will also learn the act of planning with you.

4. Give a Reality Check

Kids are not matured enough to understand the importance of hard work in order to achieve something. Your child may often underestimate the amount of effort that may be needed to achieve a particular goal. And if he fails, it is obvious for him to get discouraged or frustrated. But it is very important that you explain the challenges that your child may be required to face. Explain him that if he falls, he has to get up and work again. Teach him that he should not quit in between and work hard if he fails.

A mother explains to her child

5. Praise His Efforts

It is very important to keep your kid motivated throughout the journey. In the absence of proper appreciation and motivation, your kid may lose interest. Therefore, do not forget to praise and appreciate your kid for his efforts.

6. Consider the Obstacles

Just the way it is important to set a goal, it is also important to discuss various obstacles or problems that your child is likely to face while achieving those goals. Talking about obstacles will prepare your child better. Also, if certain setbacks are incurred during the journey, he will work harder to achieve them. It is important to assess the approach and establish the necessary amends that need to be made.

Fun Goal Setting Activity for Kids

Here are some goal setting games for kids that your child may enjoy and learn from:

1. Make a Vision Board

Ask your kid to cut out different pictures from various magazines and periodicals, which represent his dream. Paste these pictures on a board and place the board in your child’s room. Seeing this every day may help your kid become more focused for his dreams.

2. Play a Fun Question Game

Ask your child questions related to his goal as it would give you an idea of what he wants in life and you can help your kid understand better. For example, ask your kid what he should do if he wants to score good marks in a particular subject? If he says ‘study and practice’, then you know your child is on the right path. However, if he does not work hard, you need to make him understand that if he does not study he will never get desired marks. Explain in a gentle tone and he will understand.

Mother and children talking

3. Make a Wheel of Fortune

Make a wheel and divide it into sections. Write different categories such as academics, sports, family etc. Let your child choose anyone and then set goals towards achieving it. For example, if he has chosen academics, ask him how he will go about it. He can plan to study 3-4 hours daily and take a weekly test. Let him colour the academics section on the wheel so he can see it every day and motivate himself to work hard.

4. Make a Bowl of Dreams

Gather all the family members and write their aspirations, dreams, and goals (they want to accomplish in that year) on different pieces of paper and place it a jar or a big glass bowl. Keep this bowl at a place where all the members of the family can see it every day as it will remind them to work for their goals.  At the end of the year or after a stipulated period take out the papers and read out the goals of each family member and ask them if they accomplished it or not.

5. Play Wish and Stars Game

This is a very interesting game. Ask your child to choose three things that he may be best at and make those activities or qualities, his ‘stars’. Later ask him about the qualities he needs to master and make those his ‘wishes’. Your kid’s ‘wishes’ can become his goals and you may help your kid in achieving these goals.

It is important to help your kid plan his life rather than just wait for the things to happen on its own. With the above-mentioned tips, we hope you and your child will have a great time understanding goal setting. With these tips help your child in goal setting and see him succeed in life.

Also Read: How to Teach Child to Share

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