Defining and setting goals is a healthy and beneficial habit to establish early on. Our goals change dramatically throughout our lives – from learning to tie our shoes to securing a job – but without them, our lives would lack direction and purpose. Learning to set short and long-term goals is a crucial skill to measuring our own success and growth.
Here are four simple steps for making goals and plans with your son:
1. Establish a goal with meaning
Children can often identify the things they want and like, but can have difficulty establishing a suitable or achievable goal for themselves. It is important to talk to your child and listen to how they feel in order to determine what a beneficial goal may be. A goal needs to mean something to your son in order to foster his motivation to reach it. Discussing things he enjoys and where he might like a hobby or school subject to take him, will allow your son to set a goal with meaning.
2. Is it realistic?
Children have big ideas. Help your son refine his goals to ensure they are achievable. Being the smartest in the class or becoming a professional rugby player may reflect dreams and desires, but could be difficult to reach or measure.
Talk about long-term and short-term goals that reflect your son’s desires. If your son is fixated on becoming a professional sports star, start by setting short-term goals that allow him to work hard and achieve small levels of success relative to his age, in an area he has a passion for. This could include scoring a number of goals per game or moving up a level in a certain period of time. These are short-term goals that are realistic and will give him something to work towards giving him confidence when he achieves them.
3. Create a plan
Setting a number of short-term goals that lead to a bigger goal is a way your son can measure his own success through hard work and perseverance. Sit down with your son and create a chart with a timeline. Ensure your son sets the goals and time frame in which he hopes to achieve them himself. Give him the responsibility to mark them off as he reaches them and ensure you show lots of support. Assure him that not reaching a goal in the set time is okay, as it’s beneficial for him to learn how to deal with setbacks. Highlight the improvements he has made and discuss what he has gained simply by striving to reach his goal.
4. Let him monitor his own progress
Ensure your son remains the master of his own goal setting checklist, but don’t let him neglect it altogether. Decide with your son if he is going to refer back to his goals weekly or monthly for short-term goals or less regularly for long-term goals. Celebrate achievements as a family, so your son feels supported in his endeavours. Being able to look back and see how far he has come over the course of a year is a meaningful way in which your son can measure his own success and will strengthen his confidence in his own abilities.
Trinity’s Pastoral Care guidelines focus on the fundamentals of good parenting — providing both care and discipline — enabling boys to grow into self-confident, trustworthy and resilient young men. Combined with an ongoing partnership between the School and home, your son will thrive in a consistent, caring and nurturing environment, guided by Christian principles.
Your son will be mentored by a network of staff that is fully committed to helping him progress in and out of the classroom. By truly getting to know your son’s abilities and interests, his hopes and fears, he will be understood, encouraged and inspired in a way unique to Trinity Grammar School. To learn more about the Trinity difference, and how we encourage boys to grow in mind, body and spirit, register to attend our upcoming Open Day.