If you read our last (and first!) blog post, we discussed the importance of kids having goals. That’s easy enough to understand, but how do you help them actually set those goals? What’s too much or too little? How do they know what a good goal is?
Well, we’ve compiled some quick tips to help get you and your child on the way to setting goals and starting some great lifelong habits!
5 Tips For Child Goal-Setting:
- Keep it simple. There’s nothing worse than a complicated goal that a child doesn’t understand enough to accomplish. Kids have big imaginations and will certainly try to reach for the stars, but when starting out, it’s best to keep it as simple and easy as possible. Some ideas include: making the bed everyday or reading one book a week. In a year or so they may be ready for “building a spaceship”!
- Make it measurable. When a goal is specific and measurable, kids understand and can see their progress along the way. It’s hard for kids to gauge what they can’t see. Try to steer your kids away from vague goals that cannot be measured in some way. Using days of the week or a number of times within the goal will make it measurable.
- Make it actionable. Instead of goals such as: “I won’t hit my brother anymore”, which isn’t really a goal and is based on a circumstance and reaction, help your kids turn something like this into a positive goal. “I will play nicely with my brother for 20 minutes every day.” Hopefully there won’t be any hitting involved!
- Write it down. Once your child has decided their goal(s), have them (or help them) write it down and put it somewhere they can see every day. Writing it out tends to cement the idea in their head and seeing it every day is a great motivator. Place it somewhere they will see often, such as the fridge or in their bathroom.
- Lead by example. As you’re brainstorming and discussing goals for your child, tell them about goals you have. Kids often wonder, “why do I have to do it and you don’t”. Nip that question in the bud immediately by letting them know your goals and sharing your progress with them as they share their progress with you.
Remember, setting goals should be fun and exciting for your child, not a chore. Make sure they are engaged.
TKD Tip: Create a monthly theme to help guide your kid’s goals. This makes it more fun and interesting and can help teach them about important values such as discipline, self-motivation, integrity and more. Need some help thinking of themes? Check out our Tenets of Taekwondo themes we promote in our programs!
Parent/Child Activity: Get out the arts and crafts materials and make a goal chart with your child to hang up! They’ll love decorating it and adding stickers or smiley faces to completed goals and it is a great reminder of what they are working towards and where they are.