Goal setting isn't just for the adults, infact, if the habit of goal setting in kids is properly inculcated, it definitely yields positive results in their growth and development . But teaching kids to set goals isn't a cake walk at all.Here's I go about when it comes to goal setting for kids.
When dealing with kids as young as 7 years ( who relates 'goal' only with soccer) and 4 years ( who relates goal with the round shape ; referring to the Hindi word 'gol' ), I dare not expect them to simply set goals and stick to them throughout the year.
So, here's how I go about teaching goal setting to my wee duo:
Explaining the term Goal:
Being patient and taking out time to explain what exactly goal means and how it's not just limited to sports like football or hockey but is applicable in our lifestyle too. Once the children understand that they need to set goals to improve themselves and get better at something specific, they start taking an acute interest in goal setting.
Lead by Example :
When discussing about goal setting with my kids, instead of asking them what their goals are for the new year, I told them mine. My son was definitely thrilled to know of my goals and I am sure he will hold me at the gun point, if he ever notices that I deviate from my plan of action.
Time to Encourage them to set Goals:
Once the children see that the mommy has successfully set her goals and they are aware of her goals too , it shouldn't be too difficult to get the kids to write their own goals. They might get stuck along the way, but as parents we have to lead them on.
Setting Short term Goals :
Children may get carried away and end up setting long term or unrealistic goals. That's where we need to help them. By setting achievable goals, the kids will stay motivated to keep on their setting targets as they grow.
Adding the Fun Element:
So, I asked my son to write a few goals that he would like to achieve in the first 3 months of the year. He ended up making a list of 10. Together we filtered the list and chose 5 goals for 3 months. But then we were unsure of which one start with, we played the dart goal setting game. It was fun!
Adding the fun element is definitely a good way to get started with goal setting for kids but let's not take them for granted. The kids may forget and that's why I used my treasured colourful 'post it' notes and filled their soft board with all the goals set by him, in his handwriting. Our very own goal setting chits.
My son and I have mutually decided that for each target achieved, he will be rewarded accordingly. So once he successfully completes his first quarter goals, he will get the Pokemon comic book and the complete Avengers set that he is eyeing for long now.
By helping our kids to set specific goals and achieve them, we indirectly boost their self esteem . Also,together when we celebrate their 'I did it moment' , they stay motivated enough to keep on setting their own newer targets .