How to Help Kids Set Goals


Why should adults have all the “new year, new you” fun?  Goal-setting can help our children connect their today with their future. Goals help them direct their energy and time toward something that’s important to them and learn to break down the overwhelming into small, manageable steps. This is true for all of us, regardless of age. For children, big goals can seem, well, huge. Small goals seem more realistic and therefore kids feel as though they’ve achieved success. This is why sticker charts work well for many kids. They like to see those small wins!


Here are 5 ways to teach your kids how to set realistic goals of their own:


  • Specific goals are well defined. Instead of “do well in school” kids should set a specific goal such as “earn an A in Algebra 1.”
  • Measurable goals mean your child can track her progress toward the goal. Instead of “be a better basketball player”, she could choose measurable goals like “make 60% of free throws.”
  • Attainable goals help your child figure out how to get to the end point. This is where your child will determine the steps needed to meet his goals. If his goal is to “save up $1000 for college” then he can begin to list the steps needed to get there.
  • Realistic goals will teach your child to shoot for challenging but reasonable goals. Ask your child whether she has the skills and resources to achieve that goal.
  • Time-bound goals need to be achievable within a certain timetable. You can choose goals for the semester or goals for the year. Younger children usually need a shorter time frame as a full year can seem limitless to a 10-year-old.


Read more great tips about helping your child set goals from our friends at iMom here.

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