In school, we often use the term goals with your children. How can we help our students set realistic goals and stick to them? Consider these ideas you can also support at home:
1. Make the goal specific. The target needs to be very clear for your child. Help him/her clearly articulate what it is they want to achieve. Instead of a goal to get better at reading, the goal could be to better understand what is being read.
2. Set a short timeframe. Many goals fail because the time frame is too long. Set small, specific timeframes (2-3 weeks) that can be more easily monitored.
3. Make a plan. Help your child figure out actions they can take to reach their goal. How will you better understand what you are reading? Will you write a summary after a certain number of pages? Will you ask questions as you read?
4. Adjust the goal. There is nothing wrong with your child adjusting his/her goals. Adjusting will be more successful than quitting.
5. Celebrate. Celebrate the small successes like sticking to the goal’s steps. There is something about acknowledging progress, even small progress, that propels us to keep at it and work toward the next small step along the road of attaining a goal.