Goal Attainment for Kids
Most successful people will tell you that setting goals and writing them down is the difference between success and failure. It is very hard to shoot for something if you don’t even know what it is. The key to living the life of your dreams is to set goals early on and strive continuously to achieve them.
The best way to help your child set her goals is to tie them in with her unique interests and hobbies. What does she enjoy doing most with her time? Playing music, horseback riding, eating at the mall, playing an instrument, and attending concerts, are some of the activities that children enjoy. If you help her choose goals that will allow her to spend more time doing her favorite things, then she will not need as much motivation and inspiration from you to keep her on track.
Goals do not always have to pertain to money. Your child might have the goal of learning to play the guitar. However, unless you already have a guitar, you will need money to buy one. In this case, you can help your child save money to buy the guitar. If she accomplishes this goal, you might want to offer to pay for the guitar lessons.
The things we appreciate the most are those that we worked the hardest to obtain. Your child will obtain a sense of accomplishment and self worth by obtaining the goals she set. She will cherish what she worked hard to achieve so much more than if she obtained it with little effort.
It is best when setting goals for your child to start with something small. A goal that can be achieved in a short amount of time is an excellent way to show her early on how rewarding saving for goals can be. You might consider giving her an additional reward after she achieved her first couple goals. This will help goal setting seem like more fun. Once she has had some practice and success saving for short-term goals, it is possible to introduce her to saving for long-term goals.
Often times, parents want their young children to have a goal of saving for college. Though this goal is worthwhile and quite necessary, it is something difficult for the child to stay motivated. If college is more than 5 years away, it may be very difficult for the child to comprehend what their life will be like at this time. It takes time and attention from the parents to explain why they should start saving for the future early. Parents should explain how they are saving for goals 10-20 years away and what those goals are.
Not all goal-setting activities turn out favorably. Those that have the highest rate of success are those with the greatest amount of parental involvement. You can have a lot of influence over your child’s choice of goals, steps taken to achieve goals and likelihood for obtaining those goals. However, keep in mind, you do not want to dictate what the child’s goals will be. This destroys the learning environment and makes goal setting seem more like a chore than an enjoyable process. You want to empower your child to set her own goals and work on her own path to achieve them.