4 Tips for Setting Goals with Kids

English: MICANOPY, Fla. (Aug 10, 2010) A Drug ...

English: MICANOPY, Fla. (Aug 10, 2010) A Drug Education for Youth (DEFY) summer camp attendee from Naval Air Station Jacksonville climbs a rock wall during a goal setting exercise at Camp McConnell in Micanopy, Fla. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Charles White/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good Afternoon,

As we start to focus on the quickly approaching school year, I would like to dive into 4 tips that will keep you and your kids on track.  Setting goals is nothing new, and you may already employ a great strategy to help your kids work towards what they want.  If you have a plan in place, perfect!  Use the comments section below to help others and chime in.  If you don’t have a goal setting plan in place or would like to revamp your current plan, here you go.

1.  Plan It Out

  • What do you need to meet your goal
  • Is there a time line
  • What is the result
  • Can you break it into smaller goals
  • Can you watch your progress

2. Break It Up

  • Short term plans (days or weeks)
  • Middle term plans  (weeks or months)
  • Long term plans (months or years)
Goal Setting

Goal Setting (Photo credit: lululemon athletica)

3.  Communicate

  • Verbally
    Everyone involved has knowledge of the plans and goals
  • Non-verbally
    Lists, charts, pictures, and any other way to keep you focused and on track
  • Seek out helpers and cheerleaders to guide and help you along the way

4.  Set Goals For Anything

  • School
  • Sports
  • Financial
  • Organizational
  • Chores
  • House Projects
  • Daily Routines
  • Behavior

It may take some time and extra effort to sit down and determine a goal and course of action.  Keep at it.  The more practice you and your child have the easier it will be to start down the path of a goal.  Realistic goal setting is a life skill that will benefit your child forever.  It will also get you out of the conversation about gifts, money, new skateboards, etc.  Give your child an opportunity to feel in control about earning rewards as well as feeling a sense of accomplishment.

How does your family set goals?  How do you encourage your child to work towards something?  Leave comments and suggestions below.

Good Luck ,



3 thoughts on “4 Tips for Setting Goals with Kids

  1. I don’t like to encourage behavior with the reward of treats and this seems like a good plan to avoid that situation. Yet it is sometimes hard for my child to see the benefit in chores, timeliness, etc, and so the request is futile. Other tips for incentive besides money, candy…?

    • Hi Ellie,
      Thanks for reading the post and for the great questions. First, I also agree that candy/food incentives can be tricky and turn into bad habits. Therefore, I would make a list of things she loves/treats that are not food related. Extra time on the computer, playing with your cell phone, time with a relative, date night with mom/dad, staying up late, extra bubbles in the bath, etc. Anything that she sees as a treat or desires, she can work towards. You may also want to check out this post for more ideas on incentives.

      As far as her interest in earning money, take this opportunity and run with it! I also agree that chores should be chores, but there are things that are extra that she can earn money for. I would start by the two of you sitting down and making a list of non-negotiables. This would include things that she has to do daily no matter what. Things to include are brushing teeth, making the bed, getting dressed, feeding the animals, getting in the car on time, etc. Then, make a list of things that are beyond the non-negotiables. This list would include things that she may not do naturally or totally want to do. It could include things like helping make lunch for school, putting away the silverware from the dishwasher, setting the table for dinner, wiping the table after the meal, cleaning up the toys in the playroom. 2 tips – connect the incentives with tasks only, not behavior. I believe behavior is non-negotiable and should be dealt with separately. Second, make the tasks very explicit and easy to assess. Did she do the task or not? You can decide on a dollar amount that you give for accomplishing her non-negotiable chores along with her extra chores, because of her age I would do this daily. Start small and BE CONSISTENT. Earning money and working towards things are life skills and should be taken very seriously. Track her progress with a chart or list and change the extra chores weekly to add some diversity. Make sure she is able to check off or cross off what she has done to keep her on track. Check out my “chores” board on Pinterest for chores by age and ways to track progress. You can also read this post for more ideas.

      Thanks again for the great questions, let me know if these ideas worked for you.

  2. Also she is at a point where she wants to earn money. Since she is only 3 and can’t go out and get a job, how can I support this at home? I feel like chores should be chores. You do them or you don’t have time for fun activities. Should some chores be for money and some mandetory?

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