2020 has been a challenging year, to say the least. With 2021 on the horizon, almost all of us are revisiting our dreams and hopes. Setting a new year resolution is a tradition many uphold. But rarely do these plans and dreams come true. Breaking these hopes and dreams into goals is one way of ensuring that they materialise and show results.
Goal setting for children requires a different approach than goal setting for adults. In this article, we will talk about how you can help your children set goals for 2021.
Young children often find it difficult to express their wants and needs effectively. Asking children to draw or write their wishes allows them to communicate their expectations from the upcoming year. You could also ask them to create a scrapbook of hopes and dreams from newspaper or magazine cut-outs. It will give you a fair idea of what they want out of this year.
After they have listed their dreams, hopes, and wishes, help them sort these out into two parts — something I can do on my own, something I need my parents to do for me. It will leave the children with a list of things they want and can achieve on their own. It might also eliminate unrealistic expectations they might have from you or others around them.
Once your children have listed down things that they can do on their own. Ask them to pick out one thing that they want to work on first. It will allow you to understand what they value and what they would like to focus on. For older children, you can ask them to pick three things that they would like to focus on this year.
Sit with children and help them understand that one big thing to work on is made up of several small tasks. This step will require a lot more parental involvement than other steps. Draw a ladder and write the big thing on the top of the ladder and write smaller tasks that lead to that ladder on the steps on the ladder. It will help children understand how these smaller accomplishments lead to one big accomplishment at the end.
Create a stunning visual of this journey to the big goal with your children. Create milestones, add timelines, and rewards for each step. Create a tracking mechanism such as a chart or a calendar if the goal is behavioural.
Goal setting helps children understand that to achieve their dreams, they need to put in consistent effort. And even if they don’t achieve their final goal, there are milestones and smaller victories along the way that can be celebrated.
Do you think that goal setting is essential for children? Why? Why not? Let us know in the comments below.
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