New school year, new goals to achieve! With some planning, you can help your child set goals so they can have a more successful school year. Here are some tips to help you set goals with your child.
Why Set Goals?
No matter what age, back-to-school season is the perfect time for you and your kid to sit down and set some goals for the school year. But why?
Putting thought and planning into what they want to achieve this year before the work even begins can help your child start school on the right track with a positive mindset. It also sets them up to achieve their goals, not just dream about achieving them.
Not to mention, learning to set realistic goals (and go after them) can help them gain independence when they’re little but also set them up to be motivated to work hard towards their dreams well into adulthood. They’ll also learn the critical process of goal setting, productivity, organization, follow-through, and strategic thinking.
No matter if they want to learn to tie their shoes by themselves, make new friends, increase their class participation, or raise their GPA, helping them set goals will ensure success (in school and their future).
Tips for Setting Goals for the School Year
Brainstorm with Them
Sometimes, it can be hard for your child to come up with their goals on their own. That’s why it’s a good idea to brainstorm with them. Be a sounding board and ask questions to help your child discover and refine goals that resonate with them.
When asking questions, think of asking open-ended questions and ones that encourage them to think outside the box and come up with creative goals. Some questions you could ask include:
- Are there any new academic skills you want to learn/improve?
- What do you think your teachers might suggest you work on?
- What’s your least favorite subject?
Goals don’t always have to be related to academics, either. Maybe your son wants to make time for artistic pursuits or get more sleep on school nights. Those are great examples of goals that are health and mental well-being related, and that matters, too.
Listen, Don’t Just Talk
You may have your own ideas for what you want your child to achieve this school year. But their goals should be just that – their own. For them to set their goals, they need to be in charge of the process. You want them to decide what they hope to achieve, not just go along with the goals you suggest. As we mentioned previously, ask questions, but listen to them and let them arrive at their own conclusions about what to strive toward.
Certainly, you can suggest some things they do well and where you think there’s room for improvement but don’t take over the discussion.
Make the Goals Specific
When setting goals, it’s important to set specific, measurable goals and expectations that are right for your child’s grade level.
It may also be helpful to have both short-term and long-term goals. If the sound of multiple goals sounds intimidating to them, explain that setting smaller goals can help them achieve their bigger goal. For example, if your child wants to get higher grades in science, they can set small goals to create better study habits.
Build a Plan
Once you have the goals, it’s time to work together to develop a plan with specific steps for achieving them. No matter if your child is in high school, middle school, or elementary school, having an action plan is essential.
Think about the key steps that will help your child reach their goals. Setting a timeline and milestones can help track progress and keep them motivated. To keep track of everything, consider using a journal or goal board for each child and their goals.
Setting goals is exciting, but it can also be challenging. As the school year progresses, goals may seem a little harder to achieve.
Show your child you believe in them and encourage them throughout the process – cheer them on when they succeed and motivate them when the going gets tough. Not only will this help them stay on track, but it will reassure them they got this!
When they achieve their goals – it’s important to celebrate those huge successes (no matter how big or small the goal was)! Rewards are important because they teach that hard work pays off. They are great motivation tools and the perfect way to celebrate a job well done.
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When you set goals with your kids, you can start the school year on the right foot and set everyone up to have a successful year!
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