Goal setting is a powerful skill that we should be actively teaching our children. It is a skill that will help them with self-control, self-efficacy and the confidence to achieve their dreams.
Midyear resolutions are a fabulous way to reboot and re-energise your mind, body and spirit. By reassessing the things that are important, your children will have new found motivation to take them through to the end of the year.
Setting goals with your children will help you understand their wants and needs, while providing necessary support in a process that can be somewhat daunting. It is also a great opportunity for you to re-evaluate your goals and model appropriate goal setting behaviour.
The difficulty is in knowing how to set goals with your child. Where do you start? The most effective way is to ensure that goals are SMART, meaning Specific, Measureable, Agreed, Realistic and Timely.
What would you like your child to accomplish? The more detail you provide, the more likely your child will achieve it. Ask your child the following questions:
- What exactly do you want to achieve?
- Why is this your goal?
- What steps do you need to take to achieve it?
- What limitations do you have?
Ask as many questions as you can and make sure your child’s answers are specific.
Ensure goals are measurable by identifying exactly what the aims are. For example I will swim 50 metres in under a minute, I will learn a piece of music by April, I will improve my maths results by 10 percent, I will read two novels by the end of the month etc. Ensure your child has measurable aims so that they can identify their progress towards achieving the goal.
Is it a relevant and necessary goal? Does your child actually want or need to achieve this goal? Think about whether it will have a positive influence on your child’s life. If your child is not fully on board with the goal, they won’t aim to achieve it – your child must agree that the goal is relevant and worthy of effort.
Can your child attain the goal? Is it realistic? Look at all areas of your child’s life and be honest about whether your child has the time, resources and ability to achieve the goal in the timeframe they suggest. While goals should be challenging, if they seem unachievable, your child may give up or find the goal pointless.
Keep timelines realistic with allowing for some flexibility. Can your child achieve the goal in the timeframe suggested? Is the timeframe too generous?
Setting goals is not an easy task, it takes practise. To be successful and achieve results, ensure your child’s goals are SMART.
Below are some additional notes you may like to consider when setting goals with your child:
- Goals should always be positive
- Enlisting support can be advantageous – share the goals with teachers, friends, coaches or mentors
- Write down the goals and put them somewhere visible as a constant reminder and motivator
- Roadblocks are part of the process – help your child work around these.
At Trinity Grammar School, we work with your son to set SMART educational goals to ensure he reaches his full potential. Our International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma features the subject Theory of Knowledge which provides an opportunity for students to reflect on the nature of knowledge, and on how we know what we claim to know.
To learn more about the Trinity difference, and how the IB Diploma can assist boys to grow in mind, body and spirit, download our IB Diploma brochure: