Helping Children Set Age-Appropriate Goals
The New Year has arrived, and many of us have set lofty resolutions. Anything from working out daily to saving money to losing weight, our society knows how to dream big!
However, when we don’t break big dreams down into smaller, achievable goals, failure often ensues. And to make matters worse, our children watch us throughout this short-lived endeavor.
So how can we teach our children to be excited about making personal changes while ensuring the goals are age-appropriate and attainable? It all starts with a desire to accomplish something new or change something you currently do.
When we help children with this process, it is essential to find out what they wish to achieve, and not just project what we want for them. Each goal then needs to be written down and broken up into smaller, short term steps that have specific time-based objectives.
Completing these small, attainable steps will keep the momentum going, and tracking their progress will help them see how much they have improved. Checking in with them and reevaluating goals will also help ensure personal success.
With success and development in mind, Melody Johnson created the Life SKILLZ program as a supplemental course to the SKILLZ program. Within Life SKILLZ, goal setting is one component, and students of all ages learn this skill.
The best part is that Life SKILLZ programs are age-appropriate because the lessons are broken down by the developmental stage. By doing it this way, children learn how to set attainable goals that are realistic for their stage of development.
When we help children set goals and apply active learning in the process, it helps them learn responsibility and focus as well as time management skills.
For younger children, it is a way to set expectations that they can learn. For older children, it is a way to prompt a more mature understanding of goal setting, and they can set longer-term goals as well.
Accomplishing goals at any age will help increase children’s self-esteem and self-awareness.
But keep in mind, throughout this process, there will ups and downs. When things don’t go as planned, children may feel frustrated. It is vital to celebrate all achievements, no matter how small.
Remind them often that they are making improvements, no matter what the outcome is. Make sure that you help your child document all of these small wins by using posters or goal ladders. Whether or not the goal is met in the timeframe initially set, make sure to applaud all effort that your child has shown.
It can also be helpful to discuss exactly why something went wrong, and to make adjustments to the goal. This will help teach resiliency, and the ability to pivot without losing momentum.
Goal setting can be an exciting thing but can also be overwhelming, especially for children. When we help them write their goals down and make them into easily attainable small goals, we help them build their confidence.
Celebrating their effort and perseverance throughout the process will help them continue to feel motivated. The result will be a life skill that will help them become successful adults.
To learn more about the powerful Skillz childhood development program that uses martial arts as the vehicle for growth, or to get your child started at our Patchogue location, click the button below:
4GK MARTIAL ARTS
380 East Main St
Patchogue, NY 11772
Author: Jennifer Salama of Skillz Worldwide.
Jennifer is a 4th-degree black belt and has been training in martial arts since 2001. She has a Masters Degree in Child Psychology. She has embraced the SKILLZ curriculum because of its focus on child development and using martial arts as a vehicle to develop the child as a whole.