After last weeks post about perseverance and goal setting, (CLICK HERE to read it) I received questions asking HOW you have your children set goals. Heather here from familyvolley.com and I am going to present to you a 6 step plan for goal setting. It is simple, and hint hint…works for both kids and adults.
There are 6 Steps to Set Goals with Children.
1. Make it real-write it down
It is no surprise that when we write things down, they are more likely to happen. Writing it down tells our brain and heart that we are serious about it. So instead of just talking about it, or thinking about it, have your children write down. It is a good habit for them to get in to, young.
2. Narrow it down
“Do better in math” is too broad a goal. “Get 82 or better on every math test.” That is specific. Remember, it is hard to come up with a plan of attack when goals are open ended, or too large. Narrow down the goal as much as possible.
3. Share your goal
It is important for our children to share their goals with us. Then we can lend support as they work to reach them.
4. Map out the “Benefits and Bummers”
Working towards goals can be hard and has “benefits and bummers.” By having our children write them down, they wont be surprised when a “bummer” pops up and things are a little challenging. For example. Lets say the goal is to get “82 or better on every math test.” A benefit would be getting a good grade, and feeling good about ourselves. A bummer would be, “because more time will be spent on Math, less time will be available to play with friends.” Knowing that “bummer” in advance will make the gaol more realistic and take the shock out of the situation when the” bummer” hits.
5. Make a game plan
This is the plan of action plan. Make it by answering the 5 W’s (Who, what, where, when and why.)
WHO- is all about WHO can help. Have your children write down their resources. Can they call their teacher, do they need to google the math concept, can they come to you, or a coach or a friend? WHAT is WHAT they need to do. Do they need to practice more often, stay more focused?
WHERE is all about location. WHERE are they going to work. Will it be at home, at school, at the blue desk in the kitchen?
WHEN is referring to WHEN they will work towards this goal. (Every Sunday at 6?)
WHY is WHY they have set the goal (This is like the benefits they wrote above. That’s okay, the repetitiveness is good.)
6. Be Accountable
Map out how your child will be monitored during the process. It is really great if you can get someone to help with this part so you don’t feel the need to nag and remind all the time. If the goal has to do with math, ask the math teacher to help monitor the progress.
The other question that I received was…”can I use bribes.” The short answer is no. Stay away from bribes all you can. Although they may get you results in the short term, they will not strengthen your child in the long run.
That is another great thing about goals, they come with built in rewards and punishments. The reward happens when they reach their goals, and not reaching their goals brings its own disappointment.
Use the 6 steps to set goals with your children. It will make it fun, do-able, and teach them positive patterns for the future.
Do your kids set goals? How?
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