The beginning of a new year is a time when people all over the world sit back and reflect upon the past year and begin to set new goals for the coming year. Setting resolutions at the beginning of a new year is a great way for adults and children alike to envision what they want the coming months to hold.
Now that 2018 has arrived, a favorite parenting tip is to encourage your children to set their own goals. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the process:
1. Child-driven Goals
Children have goals imposed upon them by parents and teachers from a young age. From potty training to getting straight A’s on their report cards there is no shortage of goals for your children to achieve. Chances are there are things that your child would like to achieve in the near future. Taking a few moments to ask what kind of goals your child would like to achieve will give you new insight into his or her personal interests.
2. Attainable Goals
All of the positive energy of a new year can sometimes lead us to set unattainable goals. We’ve all done it, and we’ve probably all experienced the let down having not come close to achievement. When your child decides he or she wants to set a goal for the new year, encourage reasonable goals. Hiking all of the tallest mountains in the world sounds fun, but that may may not be attainable all in one year. Choose one mountain to hike and enjoy the journey of researching and hiking together.
3. Short-term Goals
Setting hard to reach goals, like running 3 miles a day for the next 365 days when you’ve never run before in your life, is one of ways that adults go wrong when setting goals for ourselves. But if we break down those goals into manageable pieces we are more likely to succeed in the long run. If your child has a goal of getting her next belt in karate, encourage her to set small goals like mastering the specific skill necessary to reach her end goal. Short term, even monthly goals allow your child to enjoy lots of small success throughout the year.
Learning to set healthy goals and working to achieve them is a great life skill, and we encourage you to spend some time helping your children set goals for the coming year. Instead of big, year-long goals invite them to set short-term goals that are attainable and motivational. Successfully meeting these goals will boost self-confidence, perseverance, and give you new insight into your child’s interests. A list of fun goals hanging on the fridge will encourage your family to take part in goal-setting activities together! For more parenting tips or if you’re interested in learning more about a St. Barnabas education, contact us today.