Setting Goals Can Help Set Your Kids Up for Success
Goals aren’t just for adults. Today’s adventure is learning about why you need to teach your kids to set goals.
We can all agree, knowing how to set, work toward and achieve goals is important as an adult. But
what about our kids? Kids live in the moment. They don’t always think about what’s coming next and sometimes it’s hard for them to imagine their life in the future.
As moms, we want to set our kids up for success. We want them to be healthy, learn new skills and be the best they can be. As a mom, it is our job to teach our kids to set goals.
There are plenty of reasons why parents don’t see a reason to teach their kids to set goals. Some may include:
- Kids have their whole adult lives to worry about goals
- Kids are only kids for a few short years – let them have fun
- Goals put too much stress and pressure on kids
- I didn’t have goals when I was a kid. I turned out just fine, so I don’t see why I should teach my kids about goals.
These are totally valid reasons, but we owe my kids more.
Yes, kids can wait until they are adults to learn to set goals. And they can be very successful. But the better option is to teach this important skill to our kids kid when the cost of a mistake is low.
Here are 4 of my reasons why we must teach our kids to set goals
- Kids can work on smaller goals now. By the time they are an adult with big goals they will be better prepared to handle the challenge.
- Procrastination is a hard habit to break. When kids learn that making their goal a priority actually gives them more time for fun, they are less likely to develop undesirable habits.
- When kids set goals they will likely experience failures. This will help them learn to manage their expectations, emotions, stress, and time at a younger age.
- When I was a kid I wanted to do things like make a team or get accepted to a specific college. But, for the most part, I didn’t set a lot of goals. One of my measures of success as a mom is having my kids that turn out better than I did. I know I’m setting my kids up for success by teaching them to set goals when they are young.
Keep reading to learn more about why you need to teach your kids to set goals.
The Story – Moving a Mountain One Shovel at a Time
A man who is now extremely successful grew up in a small farming town. When he turned 14 his parents expected him to get a job, so he accepted a job working at his neighbor’s farm. The boy showed up for his first day of work and saw a mountain size pile of manure.
His task was to move the mountain of manure from one area of the farm to another. He didn’t understand why the pile needed to be moved, but he trusted the farmer. He was determined to complete the task. Other workers grumbled and made the task miserable for themselves. One other boy quit before the job was finished. But the now successful man set out with as much enthusiasm as he could muster and got to work.
With each shovel full, he moved a relatively small amount of the entire mountain. Hour after hour, day after day, over the course of a week he worked. Instead of growing to hate the task, he challenged himself to work harder than he had the day before. He even made up little games which made the time go by faster. When the task was complete, he looked back on his huge accomplishment and was proud of his hard work.
The Reason – Goals Frame a Clear Vision of Your Future
We all have high aspirations for our kids. There are big goals we want them to accomplish, obstacles we want them to overcome and aspirations to achieve. To a kid these big goals can seem as daunting
as moving a mountain.
If you are right up next to a mountain you won’t be able to see everything. You view is limited. Take several steps back and you’ll see the entire mountain in front of you. It’s going to take a lot of work to move a big mountain.
Most of the time a big goal can feel just as impossible as moving a mountain. Especially for a kid, that big goal can seem way to challenging. Big goals are a lot for a kid to think about. A big goal need to be broken down into smaller pieces. When you help your kids break down a big goal into smaller pieces, they are able to work at it one small piece at a time.
Before long all of those smaller pieces will grow into something bigger. You kid will see their hard work paying off and they will see their goal is within reach. Soon your kid can set even bigger goals and envision what they want their future life to look like.
Goals help frame a clear vision of the life you want in the future.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, you want to help your kids set small goals, celebrate their wins and keep them motivated on their journey.
The Challenge – Have your Kids Set a Personal Goal for this school year
Kids of all ages can set their own goals. Challenge your kids to set at least one goal for this new school year. Some ideas include:
- Be a better friend
- Keep a positive attitude in a subject that isn’t their favorite
- Read a certain number of books by the end of the school year
- Try out for a team
No matter the goal they choose to set, make sure you teach your kid why goal setting is important to you. Talk to your kids about goals you have reached and how that accomplishment made you feel.
If you’re thinking – I haven’t set a goal before. That’s totally ok. Maybe you haven’t officially set a goal before. But you can talk about a small or big accomplishment and how you felt.
Take the challenge yourself and set your own goal for the new school year. Be account
ability partners with your kid and help each other. When we teach kids by example and work with them side by side, they not only learn, but they feel how much we love them.
We are here to support all of your efforts. Accountability is just one step of goal setting. Hold yourself or your kids accountable for goal you have set. Learn more about being your kid’s accountability partner in the Teach Your Kid How to be Responsible post.
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