Posted on Jan 5th 2023
For many adults, the new year brings an opportunity to set goals for the rest of the year. These goals can range from saving money, getting a dream job, or finally quitting smoking. But New Year's resolutions aren't just for adults! Helping children create goals for the new year can help them learn self–discipline and the value of setting goals in life.
We've rounded up some helpful tips for setting goals with children and included an explanation of the benefits of involving them in this age–old tradition. For goals involving mental and physical development, classes at Romp n' Roll can help. Read on to learn how you can help your children set and accomplish goals for the year.
First, let’s go over how to set goals so you can actually achieve them. A great place to start when setting goals is to use the “SMART” acronym.
When setting a goal, it needs to be specific. "I want to be outside more" is not a very clear goal. A better way to state this could be, "I will take a 10–minute walk every day." When a goal is specific, it is easier to achieve.
To ensure a goal is measurable, you will need to define what evidence will prove you're making progress. This evidence could be how often you accomplish a task related to your goal. For example, tracking the number of times you save $50 or setting benchmark accomplishments until you reach your overall goal.
If you are setting goals, you want to ensure that goal is achievable. You don’t want to set a goal that would take an unrealistic amount of work. Choose something doable with clearly defined steps to follow.
Choosing goals should be relevant to yourself and worthwhile for you to achieve. Think about “why” you want to set and accomplish this goal and how it can improve your life or well–being.
A great way to ensure you accomplish your goals is to attach a time frame to them. When we have a time–bound goal, we are more likely to work towards that goal. When choosing a length of time for your goals, you can select any amount of time, but shorter time frames may be more realistic and doable.
Now that we understand how to set appropriate goals, we can work on applying that information to your child. Here are some tips for helping your child come up with New Year’s resolutions.
A great way to get your kids involved in making goals for the new year is to make it a family–wide activity! Gather everyone and talk about the past year, the things that went well and everyone enjoyed, and the things that did not go well and could use some work. You can set family resolutions like going on a monthly family outing or trying a new board game each month.
Help your child set goals by following the SMART acronym and keeping the goals age appropriate. These goals should cater to your child’s needs in helping them be a better person. For example, preschoolers might make a goal like cleaning up their toys every night or washing their hands each time before eating. Young kids might have goals like eating a fruit or vegetable every day or getting their homework done every day before 6 p.m. Older kids or teenagers might create goals like only drinking soda three times a week or playing video games for only one hour a day.
Children watch what their parents and caregivers do. If you show them that you take your resolutions and goals seriously, they likely will too! It is important to model good mental and physical health so your children will see a healthy standard. You can also include your child in your resolutions by openly speaking about your goals and encouraging them to help you accomplish them.
As adults, we know the feeling of accomplishing a goal and how amazing it feels to say, “I did it!” Involving children in setting new years resolutions is a great way for them to experience that feeling too! Additionally, when you praise your child for accomplishing a goal (no matter how small it may seem), their self–esteem and confidence get a big boost. Take time with your child to review their goals throughout the year and discuss their success or ways they might need to work harder.
Remember to never patronize or punish your child for not working toward a goal. The whole point in encouraging your child to create New Year’s resolutions is to build them up and design ways for them to experience success. At Romp n' Roll, we create a safe environment for children to learn and grow as they develop new skills and make friends.
Working with your child on setting new year resolutions or goals and helping them achieve those goals will set them up for success as they grow into adults who go out into the world. Try to follow the SMART acronym for your goals, and remember to have fun and praise your child as they work on their resolutions. Signing your child up for a class with Romp n' Roll can be a great way to help them accomplish their goals. Happy New Year!