It’s January 1st and a brand new year awaits! For kids and adults alike, there’s something intensely exciting about starting over, setting some goals and laying out some plans for the coming year.
Making it a family tradition to spend some time thinking about and mapping out a new year strategy can become an anticipated family event. Sheets of crisp white paper, packs of new coloured pens all laid out on the family meals table ready to get your creative on.
Children and adults will have different goals and expectations for the new year but working together shows children that even adults map out where they’re going and the resources they’re going to need to get there.
A simple approach for children is to map out a social, an emotional and a learning goal using a WWW approach. Here’s what it looks like.
Social goal: To make more friends
Who – who can teach or model this skill? Who does the child want to specifically focus on – maybe it’s the acquisition of a BFF!
When – when can the goal be started and when is a good point to have it underway and them completed.
What – what are the actions or resources required to help the goal to happen. Does the child need more friendliness skills, what about role playing some great ways to make friends. What is all about the resources required.
Other social goals might be to learn to stick up for yourself, to be less of a follower and more of a leader, to keep friends’ secrets even when it’s really hard not to divulge.
Emotional goal: To stay calm when a sibling is getting annoying
Who – can help to teach, model or encourage this skill?
When – can it be started and how will you know when it’s been achieved?
What – resources do you need – a book, a support person, a strategy?
Other emotional goals might be about temper, moodiness, coping with disappointment.
Learning goal: To keep trying even if the task is boring.
Who – is there someone we know who has achieved highly from persevering?
When – can I practice my perseverance?
What – can I change about my thinking and behaviour that will help me stay steadfast?
Other learning goals include being able to make a mistake, persisting, bouncing back from difficulties, being confident about asking questions or telling news.
Setting goals helps children to focus on their areas of strength and weakness in positive and affirming ways – and it’s a life skill. Did you know that adults who set goals are usually higher achievers? Did you also know that adults who write those goals down and have some form of accountability do even better?
Goal setting can be a fun family activity and right away you’ve got a whole bunch of accountability partners – and you’re laying the foundation of success for life!
Why not make this a family tradition in your home and help not only your child by yourself towards a happy and successful 2018!