Setting Short-term goals with your children

June 10, 2010 at 9:41 PM 2 comments

by: Jennifer Perez

Setting goals…..AHH-I can remember beginning the goal setting process back in high school.  No one ever suggested it to me.  I didn’t take a course on it by any means.  Yet, through trial and error at a young age, I figured out that goal setting was the answer!  It was through the trial and error process where I learned that I was able to achieve things I never dreamed possible like playing the violin in the Junior Symphony, graduating high school with a 4.8 GPA and being awarded a partial scholarship to a college to run Cross Country!  WOW!  Sometimes, I catch myself wondering what else I could have achieved in my childhood had I known about goal setting at an earlier age, but…. I do not live my life like that!  I am a true believer that everything happens for a reason and every lesson learned is a valuable one.  Now that I have my own beautiful daughter, I NOW know that I have a choice to do things differently for her in order to provide her with all of life’s possibilities!

That all being said-It is never too early to start setting goals with your child! No one knows your little mini-me(s) better than you so keep that in mind when beginning the goal setting process.  I recommend beginning with a few short-term goals first so that your children can get exposed to the world of ‘goal setting’ gently.  According to HH Publishing, short-term goals are “goals that can be achieved in a day, week or a few months.”

Examples of short-term goals:

  1. Completing assigned chores on time. (day goal)
  2. Reading three chapter books in two weeks. (week goal)
  3. Getting A’s and B’s on their report card. (few months goal)

Prior to asking your children to set their goals, I strongly recommend having a conversation with them and explaining exactly what short-term goals are and their purpose.  You may even want to provide the short-term goals examples from above!  When your child/children have an understanding of what short-term goals are AND their purpose it will then be time for the short-term goal setting to begin.  Since this will be the 1st time that they will be setting goals, allow your children to choose any goals that they would like!  (We will discuss other options in a minute!)

After the short-term goals have been decided upon, have your child write out this goal(s), along with an expected accomplished date, and post in an area where it will be seen often!  Writing the goals down along with their expected accomplish date will hold your children more accountable for their goals.

Goal Monitoring

To me, this is the most important aspect of setting goals!  What is the purpose of setting goals if you aren’t being held accountable for them?  As young children continue to grown and learn, they depend on us, the adults, to model such behaviors.  As parents/guardians, your role in your child’s goal setting is to monitor their progress.  How do you ask?  Here are a few ideas:

  1. Depending on the length of the goal, day/week/month, hold a daily discussion with your child about what they are doing in order to achieve their goals.
  2. With your child, monitor their expected ‘accomplish’ date.  Encourage them to do all they can in order to reach their goals.
  3. If your child has met their short-term goal prior to their ‘accomplish’ date then GREAT!!  Make sure to give them tons of positive praise and encourage them to begin brainstorming on another short-term goal!  This time, you may want to be a little more specific by asking them to set at least 1 academic goal.
  4. If your child does not meet their short-term goal by their ‘accomplish’ date do not fret!  Remember…this is their 1st time setting a short-term goal and you do not want to scare them away by making them feel badly.  Instead, have a very casual conversation on what can be done differently the next time around so that the goals are met.

Remember to support and encourage your child through this entire process!  It may be a neat idea to set some of your own short-term goals with your children so that this experience will seem a little more ‘real’ !!  I wish you the best of luck on this short-term goal-setting journey!  If you have any questions or just need to chat, feel free to contact me!!

COMING SOON-Setting long-term goals with your children.

Happy Learning!!

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Entry filed under: Parent Tips. Tags: , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. heathercnelson  |  June 26, 2010 at 6:11 PM

    Great article, and not just for kids! LOL

    Reply
    • 2. imtjen  |  June 28, 2010 at 8:42 AM

      Very true! We have to model such behaviors for our children and it will become that much easier to integrate this into their normal routines!

      Reply

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