Helping them dream
Why do some children succeed and others don’t? How do we motivate our children to work hard and do their best? Minor goals, such as making the track team, or winning the high school debate meet, need step by step planning. By meeting minor goals they gain confidence to plan and meet major goals, such as career goals. Goal setting and achievement can be taught as early as three years old and sometimes younger! Exposure to many different kinds of experiences gives your child more knowledge and capability to make choices. If they know what’s out there, they can make educated guesses and intelligent decisions. Great place to start is what your child most desires at the moment. Then help him achieve it by teaching him a step by step plan.
Let them dare to dream
Guide them in identifying where they want to go in life. Get them to dream about the possibilities that are out there. Ask questions like, “What do you want to do this year in academics of games?”, or “Where do you want to be 10 years from now?” Then allow them to let their thoughts roam. Let them visualise themselves living out their dreams. When they come to you with a vision, you are ready to take the next important step.
Step by step planning
Checking off those plans as they are achieved will bring your child closer to his dreams. Give him a notebook and show him how to organise and keep track of his goals. Assist him in step by step planning of what is needed in order to reach their goals. Adult guidance is very important at this point. He will need to know what steps are normally taken to achieve his goal, by speaking with or reading information from experienced people. List the options, evaluate the best choices and guide them in making the right decisions for them.
Remember, you are only guiding your child to set and reach goals, not choosing what’s best for him. In order for a child to be motivated to succeed, he needs to feel the choices that he makes are his and his alone. Pressure, coercion or manipulation of any kind will cause your child to lose motivation. Encouragement works best in most situations, including helping your child set and reach goals.
Your child needs guidance and encouragement in setting and reaching his goals. This will probably be one of the most important parenting skills you will implement in his life. Teaching him this skill will enable him to perform tasks and achieve goals throughout his entire life. You are in essence teaching him how to succeed in life!