5 tips to help your child set goals for 2018

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Whether your child has set a New Year’s resolution for 2018 or not, the start of the year is a great time to get your child to think about goals. Creating and achieving goals can help your child grow their talents, self-esteem, intrinsic motivation and work ethic. Here are five tips to help your child set goals  big or small.

Start with smaller goals
It’s best to start with smaller, short-term goals as they are more realistic and achievable. These could be monthly personal goals like acing an upcoming test, making a new friend, or starting a new hobby. Once your child has achieved these, you can progress to helping them set larger long-term goals.

Pen it down
Encourage your child to write their goals down on paper. This will make it feel more “real” and will give them a greater sense of responsibility. Allow your child to write it down in a way that they feel most comfortable with. This could look like a fun contract or a mixed media vision board. If your child is more auditory, you could make a voice recording of the goal. Leave the expression of their goal up to them as it will foster a sense of ownership.

Flesh out a plan
Once your child has identified their goal you can help them to create achievable steps to realise their vision. Help them set deadlines for these steps and check in with your kids every so often to see how they are progressing. It’s important to remember not to nag your children about their goals. Instead, give them full ownership and autonomy.

Find out what motivates them
When it comes to setting goals, the most powerful way you can motivate your child is to uncover what motivates them intrinsically. Each child has their own way of finding meaning and drive in their lives. Cultivate this inner gusto by respecting and encouraging their passions, pursuits and accomplishments. Try not to compare them to their peers or siblings, and remember that every child moves at a different pace.

Celebrate their successes
Achieving goals can grow your child’s self-esteem in a healthy, dynamic and fun way. Through goal-setting, they can learn how to trust their inner strength, guidance and intelligence. Before any goal is set in stone, help your child come up with a way to celebrate the completion of their goals. Perhaps you could cook them their favourite meal; them for a movie date with friends; or take them out for ice cream.

When it comes to raising children to be highly ambitious, building self-esteem and intrinsic motivation is key. It’s always worth remembering that our children learn from our example. So as parents it’s crucial to practise what we preach, especially when it comes to goal setting.

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