Goals are important to set because they give a child something to focus on and work towards. It also allows them to see how far they have come when they achieve their goal and provides a pretty good reason to celebrate! The problem is that many kids don’t create any and some who do end up creating goals that are nearly impossible to reach. For example, a child practically failing algebra may have the goal to get an A, but if only half a semester is left and they would have to get perfect grades on everything it is unlikely they will hit their goal. This can leave them feeling bad about themselves when they should be thrilled that they bumped that D- to a B. Helping your child set academic goals ensures they are not impossible, but challenging enough to demand an effort. It is a bonding experience, too.
- Speak to Them Alone – If you have multiple children in the home it is important to talk to each one separately. Quite often, kids will hold back a little out of fear of being judged by a sibling, or they try to be an overachiever to outdo the other person’s goals. These goals should be personal and not influenced by goals set by anyone else. Talk to them individually where no one else can hear.
- Explain the Importance of Goals – Some kids can be resistant to these conversations. The ballerina or the quarterback with a big future in front of them may not see the purpose of setting academic goals. They need to understand that goals help them focus their attention on priorities. You have probably already explained the importance of a good education because sometimes talent won’t get them everywhere they want to go in life.
- Find Out What They Want to Improve – Some kids will know exactly what they want to accomplish. Others will need a little help. Find out what they want to improve upon. It could be as ambitious as getting straight A’s, but it could simply be improving their use of punctuation.
- Write Them Down – Goals should always be written down. You feel more accountable for things when you do. You want them to be able to read their goals to stay on track.
- Make it Fun – Rewards are always welcome. Little ones may be thrilled with stickers on a goal chart. Teenagers might need a little incentive to keep them motivated.
- Provide the Right Environment – Kids need a good study space. Four kids at the kitchen table equal nonstop distractions. Give them personal space. Bean bag chairs are the best pieces of furniture to study in. You can sit in one reading for hours and your back won’t hurt. Plus, quality ones last a really long time and they are perfect for kids of any age. You can get them from online stores like ProHomeStores.com. Lastly, make sure they have good lighting.