As parents we strive to raise confident and success-oriented children. We want our children to be dreamers and believers and know that they have purpose and can create meaning each day. We want our children to see that through ACTION (i.e., hard work and effort) they have the power to achieve goals and make positive changes in their lives.
With the start of a new year many of us are in the mindset of New Year’s resolutions and goal setting. We have learned the importance of creating goals in order to propel ourselves forward, to help in self- belief and to help us live our lives to its fullest. Why is it that we often don’t instill the same mindset into our children? Why do we let age determine when we can start writing our dreams down on paper and working towards them?
Now is the time to introduce our children to the concept of establishing little goals and working towards them. Now is the time to start showing our children that through their purposeful actions they can achieve things. With children, the focus will not necessarily be the achievement of a specific goal itself, but rather, the alignment of the child’s mind with the process of goal setting and achievement. For example, the process can be as simple as SET A GOAL → TAKE ACTION → ACHIEVE A RESULT. With this repetition our children get to start experiencing success after success so their belief system of “I CAN do it” and “I’m can achieve the things I set my mind to” become engrained in their self-perception as they age.
Here are a few strategies to help get our children started on goal setting and learn the power it will have in their lives.
CREATE AWARENESS & INSTILL THE CONCEPT
Start the process by looking at the strengths your child already possess. Does your child do his/her weekly chores to receive allowance? Have you noticed that your child is great about saving money in order to buy the toy he/she has been desiring? Both of these examples shows that the child already understands the concept of being in control of an action in order to obtain a desired outcome. Now it's just up to the parents to point out those strengths and how the child is taking steps to get what he/she wants.
We are trying to give our children the incredible feeling gained from meeting a goal so that they continue to progress towards bigger goals. Helping our children think of fun and creative things they can achieve in a short period of time is a great place to start. For example, finish a book or complete a craft project that’s going to be displayed in the house.
LET THE CHILD CHOOSE
This is about letting our children gain some independence and confidence in their “world” so no matter how many goals we may personally have for them, we have to let our children decide on what they want to achieve.
As we all know some goals take longer than others. Our children need to be guided in the fact that not all goals are easy; some require more dedication and time to achieve. Help them avoid getting to a point of frustration and defeat by giving them the encouragement and big picture they need to keep pushing forward.
LEAD the WAY
As adults we have been working towards goals for quite some time now, so our knowledge and experience is a great asset to help better assist our children. Not only can we show them our process and progress as we work on our personal goals, we can also start working together with our children on family goals.
ALWAYS be our children’s biggest fan! Be the positive force and cheerleader each step of the way.
So, take some time to sit down with your child and discover their dreams and help them create the action plans to their goals. Whether it’s writing their goals down on paper or creating a dream board, make it fun and a time for family connection. And remember to remind them that there are no limits to their abilities to accomplish anything they set their minds to.