It will also motivate him to consider whether his everyday actions contribute to the big picture.

For example, he might think tomorrow’s science quiz is no big deal, until he puts it in the context of a larger goal: “Good grades now could get me into medical school later.”

To help your child set goals, try these ideas:

• Help him discover who he is. He’s only in middle school, but he’s not too young to think about the future. Ask him questions—“What kind of job would you like to have someday?”—that prompt him to consider where he’s going.

• Teach him short-term planning. (It’ll show him that large tasks are really a series of smaller tasks.) Does he have a camping trip coming up? What supplies will he need? When will he pack?

• Have him write long-term goals. Kids focus on the present. Remind your child that setting goals is a way to achieve what he ultimately wants.

Copyright © Parent Institute