Why goal setting for children is important and how you can teach your kids

Dream image for goal settings

We as parents often set goals for our selves and even our own families. But few children are taught how to even attempt to do this. My question as mother is why not?

Why not help your children set goals or resolutions for the coming year?

There is no reason why your child cannot set a goal and this is a great habit for them to get into. Their goal could be something as simple as reading one book each month. Or learning how to print their name by their 4th birthday.

Other goals could be to learn how to tie their shoes or even to help mom in the kitchen at dinner time.

Getting your children into the habit of setting goals and reaching them will help them in all areas of their lives. They will learn it is possible to set a goal and reach it and that this process can actually be a fun one.

Teaching children Powerful personal growth concepts like goal setting

Growing up I don’t quite remember my parents sitting down with me and talking about goal setting.

As an adult now I have learned that my personality is very goal oriented. I thrive in setting goals.

Goal setting through was a trial error process. It took time to gather my thoughts and actions. It took years to understand the process of setting goals.

Goal setting also played a huge role in my experience and life choices.

When children are taught how to goal set. More children find their dreams more achievable.

It’s the reason why many adults struggle with this concept. They were never taught the process of creating a goal. Then breaking it down into smaller actionable achievable steps.

For visionaries like me. I often will see the end goal, start taking action but not always the right action at first. It has taken practice and patience to learn how to reflect and come up with an action plan.

This is more than likely why though many adults never reach a goal. They take the wrong actions only to become discouraged. Or in often take no action. Because they become paralyzed.

This will end up with them believing that the dream is unattainable. And they give up before they have even started.

That’s why it is also important to teach our kids that even imperfect action is better than no action at all.

How you can teach your kids to goal set

As parents, we have a great opportunity to introduce our children to powerful personal growth concepts like goal setting.

You could always make your child’s goal relate to yours in some way or other.  By doing this, everyone in the family can be working on similar things. For example you may want to exercise more so why not involve your kids too?

Help them decide what type of exercise or sport they would like to part in. Family sports include things like skating, ski-ing, hiking, cycling, walking, and running. Or you could all sign up for a self-defence class.

Once your child has decided on their new goal help them write it down and create a date for it to be in place. Try not to make the decision for them, give them ideas and suggestions but let them make the final choice.

Even very young children can set a goal for themselves. Whether it it cleaning their room or learning to get dressed without any help. Be available to give them help as needed, but allow them to try and figure out how to reach their own goals.

This is a very important step in this process. We can’t give them the answers otherwise they lose valuable critical thinking skills. Problem solving and developing their own thoughts is vital.

You should encourage your children to set a goal that can they achieve in a short time frame. Getting them to learn how to tie up their own running shoes by spring would be a good example.

Goal dates could focused around the changing of the seasons. Or based on their birthday or for the start of your annual family vacation.

Children will have a much shorter attention spans. So it is important that you are there to give them encouragement and support as needed. It may not be necessary for them to work on their goal every single day. Putting some time aside on the weekend is enough.

Older children can have larger goals. Ones where they have to save money to get something they have dreamed of owning. Or you may offer to pay half if they save up the other half. This teaches children that they have to work to get things in life. Plus they will value their new item more if they had to spend some of their own cash for it!

Once your child reaches their goal let them know how proud you are of them. Share their success with other family members too. Then encourage them to set a new goal. Goals can be set around personal achievements. The desire for a new toy or wanting to join a new sports team or take up a new hobby.

If their goal is a little harder for them to achieve. Help them write out a plan of smaller steps so that they can actually reach their goals. Remember to help them learn to enjoy their journey by making it fun.

Using a goal setting planner

The concept of time for many children is kinda like staring into the abyss. A week to a child can seem like an eternity.

Many children love and understand visual aids.

A visual aid can help count down the goal time frame and get your child excited. But, remember as I stated above it is very important that you pick shorter time frames.

Download 2 free children’s goal setting coloring pages

FREE DOWNLOAD

Create a vision board

A vision board way for your child to remind themselves what they are working towards. It’s also serves as motivation for them.

It is a fun craft for them to do that puts their thoughts into motion on pictures of their goals.

  • First go to the Dollar Tree and get a poster board
  • Buy glitter, glue or other decorative elements
  • Get old magazines and let your child cutout pictures that represent their goals
  • Decorate the entire poster how ever they want
  • Then display it for encouragement
Photo by Tanaphong Toochinda on Unsplash

Teaching our children goal setting is a life skill that will help them in their future. It will boost their morale.

Children will be eager to learn more skills or try more things when they see reaching goals as an attainable thing to do. Using the method of breaking down larger goals into simpler steps creates and encouraging path.

Remember to set shorter time frame goals and use visual aids and daily encouragement.

Give your child the power to dream and the skills to make their dreams come true.

How have you taught your child to achieve their goals? What resources did you find helpful.

Don’t forget to download your free printables and share !!

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8 Comments

  • I think that this is a fabulous idea -them more we can prepare kids for their adult life the better off they will be, while still letting them be kids and have fun

  • Kimberlie at

    As a teacher this post makes me happy. Each year, I set goals with my students, from K to 5th grade. Your goal planner will be an awesome, new option for us to use.

    • It makes my heart smile that my download can help others. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

  • Goal setting is an important skill to learn for kids. I’ve mostly taught by example by talking to my kids about my own goals but this is a great reminder to encourage them to pursue goals of their own.

    • Yeah, even while writing the post as a parent I had my own reminders. I want to be better with my own kids in doing this.

  • Andrea at

    Love the hands on activity in this post!

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    About Me

    Hi, I'm Lisa

    I am your former career-driven mom turned stay at home mom of 3. This blog became my creative outlet but my purpose was stronger. To help other career driven moms who choose to stay home. It was the best decision I made. I dedicate my time to help mamas enjoy staying home and conquer her inner domestic Goddess.

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