How to Set Goals with Your Child

Goal setting is a very common practice for me.  I have both personal and professional development plans I begin to update, around this time, for the upcoming year.  Once we were pregnant with my daughter, I began to think of all the goals my daughter would have.  My next thought that followed was how her Dad and I would help her set and achieve them.

For me, I have a whole matrix I use to develop my plan.  It often starts with just brainstorming, including writing down what I'd like to do for the year.  Then there's a grouping of how it's applicable in my life at a personal and professional level.  Adding a schedule and when necessary, a phased approach, it has the potential to get complicated.

While my method works for me, I don't think I'd use it with my kid.  Although she's now in the double digits [in age], goal-setting can be a little intimidating. It's certainly a life skill I believe to be very important for growth as well as practiced during adolescence.  In fact, my daughter's school posted an article on this very topic on the school's website.  The article was very informative and gave me guidance [as a parent] to help my kid set and achieve goals.

When we first began talking about goal-setting with our daughter, we started with a set of questions:
  1. Is there something new you'd like to learn?
  2. Name one way you'll stay healthy.
  3. Name one thing you'll work harder at.
  4. What book(s) would you like to read?
  5. How will you be a kinder person?
Following, we ask her to take time to answer questions, giving thought to her goals.  Once answered, we talk about how she could achieve them with our help where applicable (i.e. Taking her to the library to get the book she'd like to read).  As part of the thought process, we also encourage her to follow the same methodology she uses to solve her math problems...PDCA method:
  • P - Plan
  • D - Do
  • C - Check
  • A - Act
Finally in this process, she captures all of these thoughts/answers by writing and tracking it in her notebook.  We found that one way to engage her in this process is by letting her bling out her notebook [see the image below].  We also put star stickers (with the intention of recognition) on the goals when met.  It's equally as important to acknowledge the goal once it's successfully met.

Desirae's Goal Setting Notebook ... loving the #Bling !!!

It's something said for your kid feeling like they have a say in something...when given the chance, they will step up. Sidebar: My Dad has always told me when given the chance, children will rise to the level of expectation you set.  I think this is an example, don't you think?

How do you set goals with your child(ren)?  I'd love to read about it in a comment below.

Thanks for reading!

Follow me: @DanielleASB

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