How to teach your children about goal setting
As parents we want our children to have a clear
sense of purpose, to be motivated and self-assured, to know the
importance of helping others, and to understand that they are at
the controls of their life.
According to John Bishop of
GoalSettingForStudents.com, "We want our children to know
how to step up to the plate and take ownership of their
education and their life. Teaching our children the goal setting
principles will help them take ownership of their future."
As parents we understand that when our children
take ownership they will embrace our efforts, and those of other
concerned adults, to help them succeed. The key is having an
effective plan to discuss these important life skills with them.
Your talk about goal setting should be organized and well
thought out. You should have several discussions over a couple
of months before they start to fully understand and implement
these valuable life-lessons.
First, give your child something to read about
one aspect of goal setting. Discuss with them what they learned
by using open-ended questions. Facilitate the discussion rather
than lecturing to them. Let them express their thoughts. This is
your opportunity to learn what they are thinking. Guard against
your biases and praise and congratulate your child.
Guide your discussions toward answering three
1. Why is this important?
2. How do I use this?
3. How can I get started?
Suggested goal setting topics to focus on:
1. Show your child how to define a challenge and the
importance of writing down their goals. Give them real world
examples they can relate to.
2. Help them develop a plan. Explain the meaning of No
Vision = No Direction.
3. Explain the importance of taking action on their plan and
setting a timetable for its completion.
4. Let them know different people define success in
different ways. Help them to begin to define their success.
5. Teach them the importance of minimizing excuses and the
power of staying positive.
6. Coach your child on the importance of using the five
"I'll Make It Happen" words that will change their
lives - yes, I will, and I can."
7. Demonstrate the importance of helping others.
8. Teach them that success takes motivation, determination,
9. Explain to your child how to overcome potential
roadblocks and how to conquer their fears.
10. Explore with your child the satisfaction of taking
With some discussion and guidance, your child can take
ownership of their education. When that happens you will be
celebrating their success rather than repeatedly asking them
if they have done their homework.
Copyright © John Bishop is the
Executive Director of Accent on Success, a non-profit
organization dedicated to helping students succeed in the
classroom and in life. He is the author of the book Goal Setting
for Students. Please visit our website
for more information.