You’ve bought the school supplies, wiped out the backpack, and your child is headed back to school. With this change of pace, comes an opportunity to grow. Before you drop them off at school or send them on the bus – sit down with you child, teenager, etc. and help them set some goals.
Let them make their own goals, but help them document them on paper and offer ideas while brainstorming. Encourage them to work towards their goals with rewards. Help keep them accountable by checking in bi-weekly or monthly.
For younger kids ask them to set a few goals that are for themselves and for their school year. Explain goals to them and express that they should be something measurable that shows growth.
Personal / Behavioral – These goals can be something your child wants to learn themselves. It may be a skill or practice. It can also be to improve a negative aspect of their attitude, or to be patient, honest, or considerate. One goal could be to practice thankfulness, encourage your child to keep a gratitude journal.
Example: Instead of being frustrated when I don’t get my way, I will ask about other options for something I can do or have.
Educational – These goals can be related to grades, improving a skill, or trying something new. The don’t have to be related to curriculum at school either.
Example: I will read for an hour each week, and chart my time.
Financial – If your teen has a job or receives an allowance, help them budget to meet their goal.
Example: I will save half my earnings in a college fund.
Career – If your teen knows what they want to do when they graduate, let them make goals in that direction. Think classes, trade schools, trainings, etc.
Example: I will find a mentor at the body shop to show me how to work on motors.
Don’t forget those rewards and remember to celebrate! Even if the goal isn’t met, offer them a smaller reward and focus on the improvement they made. If this practice was helpful, try it for yourself! Get some inspiration to set your own goals. Have great school year!