Setting Long-Term Goals with your Children

June 16, 2010 at 7:55 AM Leave a comment

by: Jennifer Perez

When you were younger, did you ever dream of what you would be when you ‘grew up?’ I remember having this conversation myself when I was younger and telling everyone that I dreamed of becoming a Family Law Attorney because I would be able to work with children.  Well, as time went on, I began to realize that practicing law wasn’t exactly what my life dream was…my life dream was to work with children!  For me, teaching and tutoring was the answer!  Making this decision about my career change was the BEST ~ I get to work with children and make a difference in young lives each day!

Once this realization hit me, I quickly began to jot down some ideas/notes on what I needed to do in order to make my dreams come true!  This wasn’t a quick process nor an easy one.  I had to keep myself motivated and constantly monitor myself to make sure I was on track.

Bottom line, goal setting does work and it can be a positive way to impact young lives- so it’s important to start now!!

According to HH Publishing, long-term goals “are ones that you will achieve over a longer period of time (e.g., one semester, one year, five years, or twenty years).

I recommend having a conversation with your child/children about long-term goal setting and these goals can be placed into certain categories as discussed at MindTools. These goals may fall into one of the follow:

  1. Artistic Goals- Do you have a specific artistic goal in mind?
  2. Attitude Goals- Is there something you’d like to change about your behavior that upsets you?
  3. Career Goals-Do you have any ideas on what you’d like to be when you grow up?
  4. Education Goals-Is there anything out there you would like to learn more about?  How about learning another language?
  5. Physical Goals-Do you aspire to play any sports? Participate in dance? Gymnastics?
  6. Public Service Goals- Are you interested in helping others?

(There are a few more on the site)

Encourage your child to set some long-term goals that THEY are interested in achieving!  As parents, we only want the best for our children and in this case, we may be hoping for our kiddos to WANT to play soccer or to WANT to play the piano, but this has to be their decision!  Be their #1 fan and support them through the entire process!! Please remember that Goal Monitoring is HUGE!

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, semester/year, hold a frequent discussions with your child about what they are doing in order to achieve their goals.
  2. With your child, monitor their expected ‘accomplish’ time.  Encourage them to do all they can in order to reach their goals.
  3. If your child has met their long-term goal early then GREAT!!  Make sure to give them tons of positive praise and encourage them to begin brainstorming on another long-term goal!
  4. If your child does not meet their long-term goal-do not fret!  Remember…this is their 1st time setting a long-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.

Happy Learning & Goal Setting!

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

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