When you think of goal setting, you may consider this only within the realm of adult planning. However, a child may have come up with a goal of his own, or maybe you as the parent are looking to set a goal for your son or daughter. Just as with adults, goals for kids include long-term, as well as short-term goals that can be achieved in the near future. As the parent, set realistic standards for your child so that he does not become frustrated if his goal has not been met on a specific time line.
If your child is having difficulties in a particular subject, set a goal for her to achieve a higher grade within the next marking period. Keep the goal realistic. For instance, give her ample time to increase her grades. Your child may not receive the desired grade by the next test, but maybe she’s showing improvement. With your help and encouragement, within the next few assignments or tests, hopefully she will have achieved the goal. Shorter-term goals for your 7-year-old include behaving in class on a daily basis or volunteering to help the teacher. Encourage her to continue as she works each day toward her goals.
In the past, you wouldn’t even have to consider setting a goal for a child to play outside; however, television, video games and computers have changed all that. Appropriate goals for a 7-year-old include doing some form of physical activity each day. According to the National Institutes of Health, most children need at least one hour of physical activity per day. This allows them to feel less stressed, maintain a healthy weight and sleep better at night. Set the example yourself. Go outside and take a walk with your child every night, or as often as possible. This not only helps him, but it helps you, too.
Making Healthy Choices
This is an area where parents can take the initiative and set the example. For instance, if your child sees you frequently eating vegetables, he may be less resistant to trying them. Set the goal that he will eat at least one piece of fruit with each meal and one vegetable with dinner every night. Set another goal that he will limit his intake of soda and sugary fruit juices and instead drink low-fat milk and water three times a day. Set a goal of cutting out sweetened cereals for breakfast. If this task seems too difficult, start off slower by cutting back to one serving of sugary breakfast cereal per week.
Setting goals does not have to be a daunting task. Offer positive feedback as your child works toward her goal. For instance, when she manages to pull up her failing grade, surprise her with a small treat, such as a day at the zoo or a mommy-daughter pedicure. Or reward her by taking her to a baseball game when she receives outstanding reports on her behavior in class.