Sunday, August 12, 2012

Should I Teach My Young Children to Set Goals?

learning to ride a bike - _MG_2933
Learning to ride (sean dreilinger)
by Shonda Kellams

It has been said that setting goals is the roadmap to success.

Learning how to set goals and work to achieve them is a life skill that will bring fortune.

Unfortunately life skills are not really taught much at traditional schools.

So when should we begin teaching our children how to set short and long term goals for themselves?

That really depends on your child, but it is never too early to start teaching your children these vital life skills.

When children are around kindergarten age we may explain life goals, short term and long term, to them and help our child set some goals for himself.

Setting goals will help children learn that they will receive some kind of reward such as getting straight A's, earning a little money, or learning something new. They will begin to see how life rewards us for our efforts.

The first step is to discuss short and long term goals with your child in a way in which they will understand. Younger children may have a hard time concentrating on long term goals. Sit down with your child and help him or her think of some things they may wish to accomplish in the next 6 to 8 weeks.

After helping your child make a short term goals list, you can then show your child how accomplishing short term goals can lead to the accomplishment of long term goals as well. Help them make two lists, one for short term goals and one for long term goals. Remember to do the short term goals first. This will also help your child think of long term goals they may wish to add to their list.

Something else valuable children will learn from goal setting is that not every goal can be accomplished. Learning how to react when we fail at something is a life skill we all need. This is the perfect time to teach your child to pick him or self up and start on another goal.

It is also important for you to help your child set goals that are somewhat obtainable. For instance, a child getting D's in school is not going to able to accomplish a goal of getting all A's on his or her next report card. This would be something to add to your child's list of long term goals.


  • It is crucial to write your goals down.
  • Be very specific in what it is you want to accomplish.
  • Give each goal a reasonable amount of time.
  • Help your child set realistic goals for themselves.
  • Check your child's progress toward the goals they have set.
  • Talk to your children about your goals for them and your family.
  • Remember your child's goals may change as they get older.

Helping your child set academic goals will ultimately lead to them to do better in school. Setting goals with your child will give you a chance to bring up things such as the importance of education, personal growth, money management, and your child's health.

Depending on the child's age, things such as brushing your teeth twice a day, saving $50, making better grades, and learning a new skill are great things that may be added as goals.

Shonda Kellams is a freelance writer who enjoys writing about home and family, parenting, relationships, and online business. Shonda owns a collaborative blog featuring articles written to help people get better at life.

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