On our Uncommon Freedom Podcast we’ve recently started a new series called Parenting with a Purpose! (If you haven’t checked out our first few episodes, you can do that here). We’re so excited to start this series and share it with everyone because the title is actually a core pillar for us, and something that’s incredibly close to our hearts.
Before we dive in, we want to make it clear that we are not parenting experts. The knowledge we have and the strategies we use continue to evolve as we learn, but the values and faith we work to instill in our children are always at the core. We owe everything we know to learning through experience, from other parents, and from reading a ton of books.
Consistently learning and seeking improvement is an important part of parenting with a purpose so help encourage other parents to do the same, we recently revamped our Top Five Parenting Books blog, with two bonus book recommendations specifically related to adoption.
Goal Setting with Kids
We’ve actually talked about goal setting with kids recently (check it out!) but today we’re going to take the conversation a step further. The first time around, we discussed goal setting with kids as a great activity to enjoy as a family around the new year. The purpose of this is to have conversations with your kids around the same time you’re using the Yearly Reflection Worksheet and setting up your Interactive Habit Tracker.
(FYI, if you haven’t used either of those awesome tools yet, there’s no time like the present!)
Following Through on the Conversation
After a couple of years of goal setting with our children around the new year, we realized that checking in on those goals once a year wasn’t nearly enough. While our kids aren’t currently as passionate about goals as we are, we still want them to get a feel for the steps beyond just setting the goal. After all, a goal without a plan is just a dream!
Our aim for goal setting with our kids is to start checking in on their new year’s goals each quarter during their quarterly double D.E.B.T. (Deep Emotional Bonding Time) which is how we refer to dates with our kids (since the teenagers aren’t as open to the idea of dating their parents as they once were 😋). To learn more about the idea behind D.E.B.T.s, check out our blog Monthly One-on-One Dates with Kids.
Tips for Goal Setting for Kids
- Keep personality types in mind.
Each of our four children have distinct personalities which makes goal setting a vastly different experience for each of them. Some shoot high but don’t have the follow through skills, while others are willing to put in the work but aren’t as comfortable looking ahead so that goals make sense. That’s okay! We just try to support them in the areas where they need it most.
- Provide guidance to help them frame their goals.
We have a worksheet for our kids goal setting which you can find here, but you can also create a similar outline on your own by choosing a couple of areas that you want to encourage in your children.
- Make the goals SMART!
Tired of hearing about this yet? We hope not, because it’s so incredibly valuable. Teaching your kids now that goals should always be SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound) will set them up for success now and down the road. Find our SMART goal worksheet here.
- You get what you expect/tolerate.
As a parent, there’s a tricky balance between easy and right when it comes to holding your kids accountable. It might be easier to take care of a forgotten chore on your own, or let them quit a sport because they’re whining, but is that the best learning opportunity for your child? Understand that if you tolerate that kind of behavior and let it slide without maintaining expectations, it will just continue from there. Conversely, high expectations lead to high achievers!
We want to know…
Have you worked on goal setting with your children? Have you experienced any big successes or learning moments? Tell us about it in the comments below!