Goal setting is one of the most essential lessons that a child can by taught. By educating your children on the value of goal-setting, you’ll be empowering them to always achieve their best; consequently, increasing their chances for success in life.

The basic principle behind goal setting with young children is to help them establish a long-term disposition of thinking, planning and taking necessary action to reach objectives. Thus, except for a few minor adjustments to account for cognitive and emotional development, goal setting for children is the same as it is with adults. Goals just need to be made smaller, more specific and achievable.

It is best to begin this lesson by explaining the significance of goal setting and how satisfying it is to reach your goals. Something that works well to convey this to children is to provide a specific example of a goal that you had for yourself and how you worked to achieve it. Children learn by example, so it is helpful for them to understand how their parents also work on goal setting.

Once your child has a good understanding of how goal setting works, ask him or her to explain in detail a few goals he or she would like to reach. It is important that you allow your child to be the one to come up with the ideas for their goals; however, be there to help guide them towards tangible goals. You can also help break down the larger goals into smaller ones, so your child can easily see his or her progress.

With the all goals specified, it is time to discuss a plan of action to reach each goal. Help your child write down all the goals and what he or she will do to meet each goal. Review these goals and actions with your child as frequently as necessary to guide them motivated and on course to reach each goal.

After your child has reached his or her goals or together you have made adjustments to help the goals become more attainable, review the entire process and applaud all of their efforts. Even if your child did not reach the ultimate goal and adjustments had to be made, it is important to discuss all that your child learned and to praise the hard work that was put in.

By following the above steps to instill the concept of goal setting with your children at an early age, you are giving them an indispensable skill that will be used throughout their lives.

Nicole Carr, Corporate Executive at Little Sunshines’s Enterprises

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