Teach Middle East Magazine Jan-Feb 2018 Issue 3 Volume 5 - Page 48

Parenting HELP YOUR CHILDREN TO SET AND ACHIEVE GOALS T here is a lot to be said about the value of setting and achieving goals, and many of us adults, do so on a regular basis, but how often do we help our children to set and achieve their own goals? Research shows that goal setting can help children gain a sense of discipline and the internal drive, it takes to stay motivated to complete the goals they have set for themselves. In this article, I share some key things to remember when helping your children to effectively set their own goals. Start early Do not wait until your children are in secondary school and facing life changing external examinations, before you start talking to them about the importance of setting goals. Goal setting can start from as early as kindergarten. Sit with your child as soon as they can understand in simple terms, what it means to set a goal and explain to them the importance of having goals. Work with them on setting their own goals. It could be as simple as, being able to ride their bike without training wheels, by the beginning of the summer holidays. Remember that goals should be SMART; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely. 46 | Jan - Feb 2018 | | Share your own goals with your children who take action consistently, actually achieve their goals. In order to help your children, understand the importance of setting goals, take time to share your own goals with them. The amount of details you reveal will depend on the age of the child and the appropriateness of the information being shared. Talk to them about past goals that you have set and how you achieved them. Be very specific about the steps you took and don’t forget to let them know what you did to celebrate achieving your goals. Plan the rewards and celebrations Help your children to plan their action steps Setting goals is great but nothing beats action. Help your children plan each action step that is necessary in achieving their goals. Break the action steps down into as small steps as possible and build in, specific time, for evaluation and self reflection. It is important to stress to your children that, they may fail or falter, but the important thing about achieving goals is that, they must keep going. This is also a good time to talk to them about the importance of grit and resilience. Help them to understand that many people have goals, but only the few, Class Time One of the best part of setting and achieving goals, is the reward we receive at the end. This reward can be the feeling of accomplishment and also the recognition, that may come from achieving a particular goal, however, it is also important especially for children, to plan for rewards and celebrations, that they will enjoy at the end of al l the hard work. This could be a trip to an amusement park, a family picnic, a toy or gadget they have always wanted etc. These rewards do not have to all be left until the end, but can also be used to celebrate important milestones on the road to achieving their goals. There are many benefits to be had, from teaching your child how to set and achieve goals, from an early age. It is hoped that, goal setting, will help children become more independent, organised and consistent. Goal setting in children can also have the added benefit of developing your children’s confidence, as they continue to set and achieve various goals throughout their lives.