MC: Goal Setting With Chilren...How? and When?

I am part of an AWESOME mommy panel with Cassie from Two In Diapers and Julie from The Naptime Review.
Each Saturday, we will bring you fresh new ideas and advice about motherhood.
If you enjoy what you read, we encourage you to tweet about it!
Coming on January 12th, we will discuss:
Balancing your time and attention with more than one child!
Now on to this week's topic!
When and how did you begin setting goals with your children?
Here is what Mom Connection shared:
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Welcome! I'm Julie over at Naptime Review. I am a mom of 2 wild, crazy and beautiful girls. My oldest just turned 4 and my baby is 16 months old. This is how I handle setting goals with my children:
I think it is important to set goals for everything in life. I am a goal setter and I hope to install that quality with my children. In fact, each year my husband and I write out our new year's resolutions in the form of a letter and exchange them at midnight. Click here if you'd like to learn more about our New Year's tradition.
As for my children, they are still young. However, last year, we got this time capsule from BabbaBox. If you haven't heard of this monthly preschool activity box, I highly recommend it. In the box came a time capsule along with books, activities, and an App for our iPad. We wrote out our goals and buried the time capsule in our backyard. We had so much fun digging it up this year and reflecting on our goals. It was great to see how our handwriting changed as well as our favorite foods. My 4 year old's resolution was to be a better eater. Meaning, not to play with her food or to paint the table, the dog, and her face with food when she ate. I am happy to report we have successful mastered that goal. However, I think the baby is following in "Big Sister's" footsteps as she loves to pour bowls of food on top of her head. Can't wait to start working on goals with that one!
Averie's goals for 2013, are learning to ride our new bike that Santa delivered and learning to master writing our name. We set the goal and then discussed how we would achieve the goal. We came up with doing custom tracer pages from Kidzone. I customized a handful of name sheets and each day at breakfast my daughter will practice her name while I make breakfast. Not only does it serve as a distraction while Mommy gets breakfast on the table, but it also helps Averie master the task of writing her name.
When your children are small setting goals consists a lot of modeling and thinking aloud so children can see the whole goal setting process. I am hoping that by modeling and helping my children set and achieve goals they will be better equipped in the future and will one day achieve their own goals.
Hi! I'm Cassie from Two In Diapers, and I'm a mommy to three sweet babies, ages 4, 3, and 18 months.This is how handle setting goals with my children:
Wow, when I first sat down to write my answer to this question, I had nothing. I immediately beat myself up over yet another thing I had failed to start doing with my children.
But once I got to thinking about it, I realized that I set age-appropriate goals with my children all the time! This is because I feel that setting goals and simply planning go hand in hand all the time, especially at the ages that my littles are. My daughter brings home a homework folder from pre-K each month. It contains just a couple of papers worth of preschool-age projects for her to count, cut, color, or trace, and is due by the end of the month in order for her to be allowed to choose something from the treasure box. We always decide which day we will turn in her folder, and then ration out the homework accordingly. I do this mainly to plan ahead so that we don't forget it, but at the same time I am teaching my daughter to set and achieve goals in an organized and attainable manner.
I also give my littles small tasks constantly, especially when we are trying to get out the door in the morning. I might instruct Bentley to gather up everyone's shoes, Emily to clear the dishes off the table, and little Grayson to go find his "kook" (coat). When each child completes their task, they come back to me for a "great job, sweetheart!" {which always rewards me with a gigantic and heart-stopping smile} and are sent out on the next "task"... all of which are achieving smaller goals to work towards our family goal of leaving the house successfully on yet another morning.
These may seem like somewhat of a stretch to some of you {especially considering some of the amazing answers I'm seeing from my fellow panel moms!}, but I feel that these are small tasks that my children can achieve, which will help build their confidence and independence. Isn't that what goals are for anyway?
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My name is Alexa from No Holding Back. I am the mom of Nayner Bug (male, 5), Jelly Bean, (female, 3) and Tiny (female, 1). This is how I handle setting goals with my children:
Goals for my little ones tend to focus on developing routines and habits that make our life function a little more smoothly. To do this, I use checklists, rewards charts, repetition, and a little bit of good ole fashioned bribery! (ahem, I mean positive reinforcement!) Even at the ages of 5 and 3 there are so many things that they can accomplish. I set goals for the kids mostly to help them develop the habits I would like to see them carry through life. (Picking up after themselves, helping with chores around the house, reading, even down to making it through the day without hitting or fighting). Even though I stay at home with the children, I do not want them to get into the habit of me doing everything for them. So we instituted some checklists to start developing habits early on. There are some really great free checklists out there that are perfect for small children because they are picture charts and certainly age appropriate with attainable goals/responsibilities. These are two of my favorite, that you will literally find printed out and taped to the kids walls: Routine Printables (after school, bedtime, etc) at Get Snazzy and The Family Chore Charts which can be downloaded free at Power of Moms.
My children seem to thrive on recognition and feeling like they are appreciated, so I love chore charts such as the second one above. The kids can see their weekly accomplishments and know exactly what has to be done to be rewarded for meeting their goals.
In order to set the goals with the kids and make sure they understood, we had a little "meeting" and I explained the charts and expectations, the reward system, and what everything meant. Then, over the course of the next few days, I walked them through it. There was some trial and error followed by adjustments. Some things worked, some didn't. It's a goal for my son to make his bed every day, but we found we never had enough time to do it before school, so he does it before he plays with his friends after school. I have found that as long as the goals are attainable and I am consistent in my expectations, the kids do a great job at following through! They work best with very specific directions. They are only 3 and 5, so they do need plenty of reminders, but overall they are doing great with their tasks and goals! Black Dots page break divider
My name is Fotini! I blog over at Glamorous Affordable Life. I am the mom of (Isabella 19 months and Christian 6 years). This is how I handle setting goals with my children:
I think setting goals with your kids is really important because it teaches them you have to work for the things you want. I started setting goals with my son when I started potty training around two and a half years old. I made a potty chart and each time he went potty in the toilet, he got a star. Once he reached a certain amount of stars (whether it be within a day or a week) he was rewarded. Some rewards would include letting him pick out a surprise from the store, a new book, choosing dinner or dessert that evening or going to the movies! Some of his favorite things that he wanted to earn! Now that my son is six, he is beginning to understand more and more setting goals for yourself allows you to grow! Christian's goal for 2013 is to get really good and baseball and score a home run! I have no doubt that if he works at it, he will have no problem accomplishing that goal!
I haven't started setting goals with my daughter yet; I think she's still too young. At what age do you start with your children?
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My name is Kristen from The Mrs. & The Momma. I'm the momma of three girls (ages 7, 5, & 3) and a little boy (18 months). This is how I handle setting goals with my children:
There are two things I believe are critical to goal setting with children....
1. Making it an attainable, understandable, and realistic goal.
2. Writing it down and make it visibly available for them to see each day.
For the first one, we don't want to set our kids up for failure...no one does, right? A child's goal should be something they can actually accomplish...and in a fairly short time period, as most kids don't have a grasp of time to plan a whole year away. For example, yesterday we opened goals my two oldest made in 2011, that they'd written down and sealed in envelopes. One of the goals was to be able to do a cartwheel. This was both realistic and something that she was reminded of almost everyday to work on. She understood exactly what that goal entailed.
For the writing it down part, I'm a firm believer in that for anyone, no matter their age...but to help drive it home a bit more...we have our children write it themselves or draw a picture of it to display on the fridge. I think doing this cultivates ownership in their goal. They usually feel proud of themselves for making and putting to paper this "big responsibility" of setting a goal like Momma and Daddy do.
Goal setting is a wonderful thing we enjoy teaching our children at an early age. If if the goal isn't achieved or realized, I'm satisfied to teach them the importance of wanting to better ourselves each year, in an effort to hopefully bring up a shining generation.
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Your Turn:
When and how do you begin setting goals with your children?
What works for you?
Leave us a comment; we love to read your tips and advice!
Need advice? Check out these previous Mom Connection topics:

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