Goals also help children overcome difficulties. When they’re frustrated or upset, a goal enables them to keep a “picture” in mind of what they’re aiming for.

When your child sets goals, make sure she can reach them in a short time frame. Show her how to set specific goals. For instance, “be smart” is too broad. “Learn my addition facts,” however, can be observed and measured.

Help your child follow these steps for achieving goals:

1. State the goal. “My goal is to . . . .”

2. Plan how to meet the goal. “First I’ll do this, then I’ll do that.”

3. Talk about the goal with others. This builds commitment to the goal.

4. Do each step in the plan, one at a time. (If problems come up, talk together about possible solutions.)

5. Celebrate when the goal is reached.

Your praise for effort each step of the way will help keep your child focused and motivated.

Copyright © Parent Institute