Start the New (School) Year with a SMART Goal!
The start of a new school year is a great time to set goals with your child. However, if you’re like me, you may have set a goal and looked back only to realize you have utterly failed. If it's tough for adults, it's even tougher for a child and they need your support in making their goals a reality.
Let’s first discuss why it might be a good idea to set goals with your child.
- Goals help young people see how their efforts toward a goal impact the outcome. It puts them incontrol of their own learning.
- Goals helps young people develop a growth mindset, a mindset that drives people to try new things and continue trying when things get difficult.
- Goal setting is a powerful process that encourages the young person to have a direction and focusfor their efforts.
- Goals can motivate and encourage a youth to work towards self-improvement.
- Achieving goals feel good. It builds confidence and self-esteem.
- Goal setting at an early age can lead to a lifelong habit of goal setting.
So, how can we help a child set goals? Let’s say for example that your child tells you that their goal is to get better at skateboarding. Their goal is not a SMART goal:
Coach your child tomake it a SMART goal by asking some questions:
- How will you know you are getting better?
- What might you be able to do that you weren’t able to before?
- How long do you think it will take?
- How much practice are you willing to put in?
- Why is this important to you?
Work with your child to set a plan of action and let them know that you will check in regularly about their goal. Part of the coaching should be to identify smaller goals that will help them reach their big goal. It might be helpful to write it down and post it for all to see. It might be fun for you to set a goal for yourself and be each other's accountability coach too! Along the way, make sure to praise them for their efforts or improvements toward meeting their goals. If you show excitement for their efforts, it will encourage them to continue working towards their goal. And if your child fails, and they sometimes will, remind them that failure is just their First Attempt In Learning (FAIL) and they can always try again.