At the start of every year, it’s traditional to make some resolutions. Goal-setting for children is something that’s been gaining in popularity of late, with some experts going as far as to say it’s one of the most important skills a child can learn.
Whether your child’s resolutions are sporting or academic, creative or more social, research has shown that the simple process of recognising and setting an objective will make your child far more likely to achieve it. Of course, the resolutions need to be realistic and age-appropriate, and for young children it’s probably best to start with just one or two short-term goals. It can be as simple as resolving to smile and say hello when meeting new people or promising to brush her teeth every evening for the next two weeks. For older children, sit down and talk about what they would really like to achieve; maybe you’ll discover something you didn’t know about your child, for example, she may have a burning passion to learn a musical instrument or a foreign language. You then need to be very specific about what she will need to do if that goal is to be achieved. Often, the harder the goal, the greater the motivation, but, for children, it’s important to strike a balance between a challenging resolution that, with a reasonable effort, is achievable to keep your child focused and motivated.
New Year resolutions are not a modern phenomenon. They date back to Ancient Babylonian times, when the most popular resolution was to return borrowed farm equipment. Times have definitely changed, with a recent poll showing that today’s most popular resolution is to spend more time with the family.
This article previously appeared in Junior magazine as a print article