Last month I wrote about the importance of creating a clear and comprehensive contract with your children for the school year. Now that the school year is well underway it’s time to move to the next step, how to support this contract and your child’s success with specific goals. The definition of a goal is: the result or achievement toward which effort is directed. Synonyms include target, purpose, objective, intent, and intention.
Many times we help our kids set goals in just one area of their lives, for example grades or specific classes. The reality is there is more to your children than just their academic achievements. Yes, their job is to be a student but we need to also look at the other aspects of their lives that make them a whole person. When setting goals look at goal for each of the following:
- Academics: a grade and actions of how they can obtain that grade
- Social: look at a goal to create a better or broader social network
- Physical: set a goal to become better at a sport or make healthier choices
- Emotional: look for ways to express or control emotions (especially during the crazy tween/teen years)
- Spiritual: as children get older it is important for them to take ownership of their relationship with God. Look for ways to set goals to help them draw closer to the Lord.
Whenever creating goals continue to ask the questions of “how” or “why” to make sure your child is creating realistic and attainable goals. Use the acronym M.I.N.E. to help – review this with each goal before documenting it.
M Is the goal measurable so your child can measure if they have achieved the goal? Also is the goal specific enough to be measured?
I Is the goal intentional? Is there a clear reason why your child wants or needs to set that goal? As in the definition goals should have intention.
N Now. Can your child start working on this goal now and achieve it in a timely manner?
E Is the goal effective, practical, and sufficient? Make sure the goals cover all aspects of your child’s life.
By looking at the whole child and helping each one of your children set goals in each area life, we are honoring the gifts that God has given. Document the goals and review them regularly to help your children stay on track. Learning the skill of setting goals will follow your children well beyond their school years and help them to set a path of success in the future.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others,
as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
1 Peter 4:10
By Megan Stone, M.Ed.
Wife to Rick, Mom of two
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Founder of Stone Foundations of Learning, Inc.
Author of Own Your Education! A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (And Life)
Meet Megan at the 2015 HeartCORe Conference at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina, Minnesota on November 14, 2015. Click HERE to register. Megan’s book, Own Your Education: A Student’s Guide to Greater Success in School (and Life) will be available at the conference.