Everyone needs motivation and the ability to see themselves setting and achieving goals. No matter the age of the person, the benefits are great of setting goals. But most especially, kids need to set goals too.
Kids dream. All the time they are constantly dreaming about things to do, places to go, how to drive you crazy for the day. No matter what, they are always thinking of things. It’s one of the reasons why (as annoying as it can be sometimes) they consistently talk or have a hard time falling asleep. They are learning so much everyday that it’s hard not to dream, imagine, and think of all those things. As soon as you start taking them on trips or opening their mind to new things, their minds will begin to wander. It’s beautiful really. Seeing them grow and development in that way. It’s such a joy when they randomly ask to go somewhere, eat something, or learn something new. And it’s all because of seeds that are being constantly planted in their head.
It’s for that very reason that all kid’s should have goals.
It’s easy for us as adults to have dreams and they simply remain dreams. And to be quite honest, there’s nothing wrong with having dreams that remain simply that. It gives you something to ponder and wonder and those things are always great to have. However, as the quote goes, “your dreams are only your dreams until you write them down. …then, they are goals.”
Every year, we make goals. Some people call them resolutions, but for many, we call them goals. Everyone wants something that is attainable and within reach, but goals give you something to strive for. Obviously some goals are smaller, while others are much bigger. No matter your goals though, they are important. And just like we have goals, we need our kids to set goals too.
Kids need to set goals too.
From an earlier age, kids need to be setting their goals. By doing this, we are helping them learn that they should create a plan to achieve the things that they want to happen and how to act upon them. It gives them something to look forward too and also teaches them so much more.
Goals help kid’s learn to focus on a task. Additionally, they trigger positive behaviors. They help to motivate and inspire them to achieve something. And probably one of the absolutely most important goals is that it builds characters. Setting goals gives kids the ability to practice self-mastery or self-discipline. When they set a goal, and then achieve it they are building themselves up for something greater. They are able to see themselves as a person who can actually achieve something and ohhh how important it is for anyone, no matter their age, is see that they are able to achieve what they set out to do.
How do I have kids set goals?
The great news is that this isn’t some hard task that is going to take up a ton of your time. Especially if your child(ren) are under the age of 10, then this activity should take no more than 5-10 minutes. Once your child starting becoming a tween, and absolutely a teenager, this should be something that is well thought out and does take a little more time to do. However, I still wouldn’t expect it to take longer than 30-60 minutes.
Typically as adults we try to set goals in a series of categories. Usually they are about finances, family, fitness and/or health, self-improvement and fun. However, for younger kids the use of categories isn’t important. Although, they would be great for older kids.
For younger kids, the best way to get them to start learning and exploring more about setting goals is to simply ask them “what would you like to do this year”. Let them guide the answers and come up with as many or as little as they want to. Try your best not to guide them into answers; however, if you see they are having a hard time, then you can give them tips about ideas – such as places they would like to go or travel too, something they would like to learn. Feel free to ask them to get more specific. For example, our oldest daughter wants to ensure she’s reading by the end of the year. I asked her how many books she thinks we should read and she gave me a number. Clarifying or expanding on an answer is great.
What age should I start having my kids set goals?
Three. You won’t get much of a response typically. But even just a few things to start them on their journey of setting and achieving goals is so important. As your child(ren) gets older, they will start thinking of more things (sometimes a little crazy depending on the age). Use the earlier years to really build a foundation and focus on the things that they truly want to accomplish over the next year.
This is our 3 Year Old’s Goal List:
And this is our 6 Year Old’s Goal List:
This is just a guide in helping your kids to set their own goals and learning how to achieve them. No matter what, just remember that kids need to set goals too.