Many families use the new year as an opportunity to review accomplishments, rededicate ourselves, and set new goals. But children who consistently set and then fail at their goals become discouraged and less likely to continue setting new goals. So while you may want to keep your resolutions, it’s crucial that your children keep their resolutions.
Research consistently shows that children whose parents engage with them about their goals are more likely to reach those goals. So researching an article like this is the first step.
And guess what? The steps that help kids reach their goals will help you too! So join together as a family and make your New Year’s resolutions a reality.
- Set Goals that Mean Something
Resist the urge to set goals for your children. Research has consistently shown thatchildren are much more likely to reach goals and do so happily when they set their own goals.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be involved. But your role is to support, structure, and develop the goal while your child’s role is to initiate the idea.
If your child struggles to find meaningful goals, suggest the wishes that you’ve been listening to.
For children, focus first on goals where they are trying to add a new behavior, skill or achievement, rather than goals that are based on stopping an undesirable behavior, as the Savior taught in the parable of the empty house.
Steer your children away from goals that come from social pressure or outside expectations. The most effective goals are those that reflect personal interests and values.
While wishes are an important starting point, to become goals they must also be specific, measurable, and have a timeline. There needs to be a point in time when your children can unambiguously know that they were successful with their goals.
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