At the beginning of each year, millions of people around the world set New Year goals and resolutions. Encouraging your kids to do the same fosters responsibility and accountability for their actions at an early age. As a parent, you can help your preschooler develop specific, measurable and achievable goals. Better yet, these goals may also be associated with their schoolwork so as to improve academic performance.
Even if you're an expert at setting goals, don't do everything for your children. The idea is to encourage them in setting goals that inspire. Here are some tips to guide you during the process.
Guide them on how to set specific goals
When discussing New Year resolutions, start by having a general conversation with your child. Ask them how their past school year was and what they'd like to improve on this year. For example, your child may express their desire to improve on reading skills, pay more attention to their teacher or even start playing a sport while at school. Use these general interests and objectives to develop more specific goals for your child.
Taking the example of reading, you may narrow down this goal by encouraging your child to read a specific number of storybook pages per day. In this way, your child will keep track of their performance while slowly developing reading skills during the year.
Help them measure performance
An important part of goal development for kids is measuring performance throughout the year. As opposed to adults, kids tend to be quite impatient when keeping track of performance. They may desire instantaneous change and get frustrated if they don't notice immediate results.
Encourage your child to break down their goal into stages where they can achieve meaningful progress. For example, the reading goal of five pages a day may start with one page for a few months, after which your child can slowly take on more daily reading later in the year.
Each goal should be written down
To keep your child motivated and accountable, make them write down each of their New Year resolutions. This is an excellent opportunity to make the process fun and engaging. Let them choose the crayons, paper and other tools they want when writing their goals. In this way, they'll feel accountable for each goal they make whenever they see it hanging on the wall.
Involve teachers in making academic goals
Finally, don't forget to keep your child's preschool teachers involved. When it comes to school-related goals, teachers can guide you in identifying what your child should work on. They can also use their experience to help you break down academic goals into achievable portions throughout the year. They will also play a role in evaluating performance against these goals.