Summer is a perfect time to enjoy lots of unstructured time with your child. They need it and it helps them to flourish. It is also a great 10-week opportunity for them to explore their own passions, hopes and interests, and work towards making those dreams a reality. Building a rocket, learning to sew or skateboard, picking up a new instrument, learning to garden or bake, or solving a complex puzzle all qualify as goals that can be accomplished during summer and bring kids one step closer to an interest or far off dream.
Goal setting is an important skill to learn early so kids can benefit from the perseverance and grit required to stick to something they really feel passionate about. Dreams are fun and thrilling. Making them a reality takes hard work and practice. Perseverance is the ability to work through challenges when they arise. Perseverance is not “don’t give up no matter what” or “never quit”. Sometimes they’ll do their best but it will still be time to move on to a different goal. Perseverance is all about doing their best toward a goal, even though it’s a big challenge. Follow these 5 SMART steps to create summer goals that will turn their dreams into reality.
- Specific- Try to remember that young kids typically don’t know the difference between a dream and a goal. They need to understand that goals are more concrete and achievable; they are action. Simply said, while you might dream of playing professional baseball, your goal for this summer would be to practice throwing and catching for 30 minutes each day. When kids have the skills to break their dreams down into goals, and break their goals down into smaller steps, they create their own road map for success!
- Measurable- Come up with a way to track progress. It can be as simple as a sticker chart and receiving a sticker each time they practice or learning to play a certain song. Having a visual or being able to see progress is great motivation for those times they don’t want to practice.
- Attainable- Make sure your child chooses a goal that is attainable- early success is key.
- Realistic- Make sure they have access to the resources and skills that they will need to achieve their goal. If their goal is to learn a new language, they will need to have access to a tutor, app or online program for learning language. Also, learning a new language is not realistic in 10 weeks but learning 10 new words a week is realistic.
- Timely– Set a timeframe for achieving their goal and a few times to check in along the way.
Have your child fill in the SMART Goals worksheet. Help them make sure their goals are SMART and post the completed sheet in a visible spot they will see every day. Remind them that people who write out their goals are twice as likely to achieve them than people who keep it in their heads.
Looking for fun ways to help your child create and stick to their goals this summer? Sign up for the Wonder Crate newsletter to receive weekly tips and suggestions. And subscribe today to receive our July box, “I Can Do Hard Things: A Perseverance Box”, full of fun and empowering activities for building perseverance and includes the book Mindset Matters by Bryan Smith. Ready, Set, Grow!