As another school year begins, it’s important to help your child understand what they hope to accomplish through the form of goals. If your teen is anything like me when I was their age, I had zero interest in creating any kind of goals. The reason for not having goals was simple; no goals meant no failures! Obviously, this is not a great way to approach life.
So how do you help your teen create goals?
- Start with self awareness. You can’t figure out where you need to go if you don’t know where you are.
- Their goals should be realistic.
- Their goals should come from them or be collaborative. This isn’t a list of goals for what YOU want. This is their own goals for what they want.
- Create a long term reward and then encourage along the way. Yes, you can reward your child with money for making all A’s. However, I’d encourage some more creative rewards.
The main point to all of this is that you are helping your teen think about a particular timeframe and desired outcome.
The reason thinking about a timeframe and desired outcome is important is because it helps the teen to realize their actions have a direct affect on the outcome. ACTIONS = CONSEQUENCES. This is a basic principle for us as adults whereby we take responsibility for our failures. Or at least I hope so!
I often will process with a teen what they wanted, what they expected, and what actions they took that either helped them or hurt their chances of achieving their goal.
Do you have any creative rewards for your teen when they accomplish a goal?