Monday December 16, 2019
It’s hard to believe, but 2020 is right around the corner. For many of us, “New Year’s Resolutions” have been replaced by more realistic goal setting. But goals aren’t just important for the adults in the family. Children as young as seven or eight years old should also be encouraged to set goals for themselves. But this isn’t something that they can do on their own (or else their goal might be to fight crime like Batman).
Here’s how you can guide your children in a fun and non-stressful way to set goals in 2020:
- Talk to your child — Communication is key in any parent-child relationship. This year, make it one of your goals to talk more with your child and ask them questions about the future. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” is a good opener. If the child shrugs and says, “I don’t know,” then you can probe a little deeper about what they like to do and guide them on how they can turn that into a career path. No one is saying little Timmy is going to be locked in at age 8 to become a veterinarian. But this is an important step in setting goals by getting them to think of the future.
- Bucket list — Many people are familiar with this concept: it’s your list of things you want to achieve in your life. Sit down with your family and have everyone brainstorm items to put on the family bucket list for 2020. What would you all like to do this year? It can be crazy, such as setting a goal to drive cross country in the family car. Or it can be something more practical, such as to read one book each month. Whatever your goals, write them down and put them up on the fridge so that you can check it off as you reach those goals.
- Kid’s vision board — Now’s the time to get crafty. Break out the old catalogs and magazines, some scissors, paste, and a piece of heavy-duty cardboard. Help your child go through and cut out pictures that show their hopes for the future. Paste these onto the cardboard and then put it up in your child’s room as a way of encouraging them to reach for their goals.
Goal setting is important for anyone who wants to have a growth mindset. It is not about imposing set deadlines that MUST be reached and shaming the person if they do not reach them. But it is about encouraging people to try to develop more. Your kids deserve the chance to start this path as early as possible.