Setting Your Child’s School Year Goal

Many self-help books and self-improvement gurus reiterate the importance of setting goals. While this is often waved off as over rated, setting goals is actually a very important factor in achieving great things. It is very important to start students on the habit of setting goals early on. Towards the end of summer, the overwhelming dread of the looming school year comes and it often sets kids looking for ways to make the most of the remaining “freedom.” This is actually the time when they have to start thinking of what’s ahead and embracing the thought of a fun new school year full of new things to learn!

Setting goals does not normally take a lot of time but it does need a moment of thought. Goals can be as simple as making more friends, going out more and taking on a new sport or it can be as serious as being the batch’s valedictorian. The goals would always depend on the child’s personality and priorities in life. Knowing these goals would help parents know their kids in a different level.

It is vital for parents to take part in their child’s development by taking on the goals and helping them achieve it. Before asking a child to set their school year goals, parents should explain a few criteria to prevent possible future disappointments which could lead to insecurities and a feeling of failure. First of all, goals must be realistic. Explain to the child in a very clear way that they can achieve anything they want if they set their mind on it but great things often do not happen overnight or not even over a school year!

While long term goals can also be encouraged, make sure that the child has a realistic school year goal that would be a basis for progress (and rewards) every year. For example, if the child does not know anything about soccer, then a goal could be to take on the sport and play at least twice a week. Then the next school year goal could be to try joining the varsity team and eventually being the Most Valuable Player… Let the child figure out what he/she wants, the parents role is to guide the into setting realistic goals does not mean easy, realistic goals are simply achievable.

Parents should be careful in balancing their child’s expectations in them, too much or too little would not be good for the child’s development. Sadly, that is one of the hardships of being a parent. One the goal is set, ask the child to make a plan of action or things to do to attain a goal. For example, if the child sets a goal of having grades no less than a B on a school year, then the time spent on books every day should be around 2 hours, taking on a tutor, buying extra books, etc. would be a sample action plan. Let the child figure set the plan and then the parents can review, discuss more and give their comments to show the child that goal setting and action plans are serious.

After a realistic goal and a realistic action plan, it is the parents’ job to continuously encourage and guide their child to achieve their goals. Doing it right would mean a year of success!


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