2022 Goal Setting for Kids
With almost half of January checked off of our calendars, it isn’t too late to set goals for ourselves and help our children set theirs. According to Lauren Mosback, LPC, NCC (a Philadelphia-based licensed professional counselor who specializes in child and teen mental health), goal-setting “gives children and teens a sense of responsibility and purpose. As children and teens begin to form their identities, it is important for them to feel positive about themselves, their interests, and achievements. Creating and attaining goals gives children direction, motivates them and contributes to a strong belief in oneself and the knowledge that they can make a difference.” (Women’s Day, 2021)
Even if we missed the boat this past December to plan ahead, it’s never too late to introduce the idea of goal setting to children all year round. Additionally, this is a tool that they will use for the rest of their adult lives.
Before the month ends, here are some ways we can help our kids organize and strategize a list of 2022 resolutions for themselves. In doing so, they can look back at their list of goals the same time next year, and see how far they’ve come. To begin the goal setting process, you can think of the most important areas of your child's life, and choose a goal or two with tactics for each one. Here are two very important areas of focus as an example:
Sometimes study time can be tedious for children and teens. Growing up is hard when you're a kid, and trying to focus while dealing with new emotions and growth spurts can be complicated enough. When setting educational goals, help your child see the bigger picture. Rather than making the goal, “I will practice my past tense verbs every day”, the greater goal is to improve their English or to eventually study abroad. It’s important to help your child see the bigger picture and benefits, and not just the tactics. This way they can understand that it’s all for a greater outcome. If there are specific subjects your child is interested in, allow them to explore what they like with classes or free online tutorials. If you want them to learn English, but that alone is a feat, you can always look into subjects of interest in the desired language. Tactics like this are great so that the learning process doesn’t feel forced. It’s important to let them choose who they want to be, while inspiring them to learn new things that will be beneficial to their futures.
Lifestyle and Family Goals
Lifestyle and family goals can be easily integrated if the whole family is onboard. If the goal is to spend more time interacting with each other, rather than on your mobile devices, it is important for parents to lead by example. Eating healthier, being more physically active, or keeping a tidy home, all require some form of responsibility and clear direction from parents in the inception stages. So you work a lot? That’s okay. Keep the goals simple and manageable.
Some good examples of family new year’s resolutions goals can be:
Let's say you want to create better communication between parents and children at home. A tactic could be that no mobile devices are allowed at the dinner table. You can say that the first one to look at their cell phone, has to clean the dishes after supper. Fun games can be played every dinner time to encourage conversation and better habits as a family, while fueling their need for friendly competition.
Another goal could be spending more quality time as a family. A tactic could be that video games can only be played on certain days of the week. Here you could fill other days with family activities like board games, family walks, reading, baking, crafts, or movie time. The possibilities are endless.
Eating healthier as a family. You can include your children in the grocery shopping process, or in the cooking plan for the evening. Please note that eating healthier, in no way, is suggesting “going on a diet”. It’s important to set goals for your children that promote healthy habits for longevity and good health, and that contribute positively to their self confidence, body image, and overall mental health.
Keep a tidy home. It’s important to make this a family activity, rather than their bedroom as an isolated event. Assign household chores that highlight their strengths, and also remember to recognize their efforts.
More importantly, the goal is for your child to recognize that the reward is the outcome. Along the way, it's great to support your child with a progress report or weekly/monthly check-ins with feedback as small incentives on their journeys. It’s not a matter of buying your child the next Xbox or Playstation, because they did one good thing. Rewards can also be given in the form of verbal acknowledgement, pizza night, or simply any kind of quality time with you - the parent.
You can find a template of a monthly progress report here, or create your own at home: https://bit.ly/3qkHnKp
Miss Lex has been a teacher with Helen Doron English CDMX for 2 years, and focuses primarily on teen and adult courses.Lex is a Native English speaker trained in Business English and Early Childhood English through the University of Toronto. Originally from Toronto (Canada), Lex is both Mexican and Canadian. She studied Creative Advertising (Marketing), and has worked as a professional musician and songwriter since the age of 16.