Goals are important for people to have and for children having goals could be the starting point to reaching a successful adulthood. As with anything it is best to start small and grow as children start small and then they grow. Let them choose their first goals for themselves. It is alright to show them how. Even if they have difficulty and fail at reaching their goals, it is important to give encouragement. It may go without saying but, it will help them when they get older.
Start with something small for children to easily accomplish like painting a picture and then moving up from there. This is important because you don’t want to overwhelm your child as this would be detrimental to what you are trying to achieve. If a child is overwhelmed it will make it harder for them to try again. Simple steps are the best, in small things they can find joy in accomplishments. What small things can you think of to get started?
Making it a matter of choice for them will help them feel more empowered to make choices for themselves. When a child chooses their own goal then, they can take ownership and pride as they take the steps to complete the goal. Childlike curiosity is am amazing thing you would do yourself and your child a favor by letting them be curious and see what they can accomplish. If a child chooses what goal to pursue then, they are more likely to stick with it. Give them room, watch them grow.
Show them how to break goals down into manageable pieces so they can more easily stay at it and work it to completion. There is a famous quote, “How you you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” While eating elephants whole may seem like a daunting task breaking it down to several bites and several meals, it can be done. How small should you make the pieces of the goal? Honestly it depends on the size of the goal that they wish to achieve. If it is a small one, not many pieces, if it is larger, well that would obviously take more pieces and time.
Failure is inevitable and there is no way around that, but failure doesn’t have to be the end of your child’s goal setting. Celebrate their efforts and offer encouragement even if it ends in failure. Micheal Jordan once said, “I have succeeded because I’ve failed.” Failure was an inspiration for him to work harder, he knew that the failure could not get him down. Overcoming failure and achieving goals may make them believe in themselves more and make them more resilient.
When they are adults, they will look back on this and see how this lead to their success. It may not seems like much when they are young but, the little things that they experience as children will have a big impact on their adulthood. If you look back on your childhood, what small things have actually impacted your life as an adult? If you look back it seems small at the time but as an adult it may have steered your career, your life even. So remember, that there are no small things in life.
Although you start small it does grow and become a good positive change in the lives of children. Letting them think for themselves and choose is also a good step. Remember to show them how to “eat an elephant” and make it small pieces. Even if they fail applaud their effort for trying, failure is not a bad thing but rather a stepping stone to success. As adults children will look back upon this experience as learning to become who they are, ultimately. So, are you going to help your children learn to make goals?