Help your child set reasonable goals


Children often don’t know what they are studying for, why they are spending hours practicing sport or learning a new skill. It starts to feel like a waste of time and energy and this takes the fun out of it. This is true for primary as well as high school students.

Once they know what they are studying for, why a certain subject is important for their future or what can be achieved by practicing long hours, the picture changes.

Children’s goals should be simple, short-term, understandable and clear. Here are a few tips to get you started to help your child to set goals:

  • Make an appointment with your child to start working on a few goals for the week, month or term.
  • Sit in a comfortable environment where you will not be interrupted.
  • List all classes, activities and subjects your child is attending.
  • Get the necessary information on practice times, matches, events, etc. together.
  • Draft a roster for the week, with time-slots for activities, schoolwork, family-time and free time to relax.
  • Discuss and plan what your child wants to achieve in each subject or activity for the week, month or term.
  • Break down the goals to the basic steps your child need to take to reach those goals.
  • Copy the roster and goals on a calendar or whiteboard where you can easily make adjustments if necessary.
  • Revise the planning, steps and goals regularly to determine progress, practicality and the need for changes.
  • Remember to motivate your child and acknowledge progress by saying things such as: “I am proud of you!�? or “I see you are working really hard on achieving those goals, keep it up!�?
  • Always tell them that, nevertheless, you love them!

Read more about how not to criticise.