Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Tips For Helping Kids Achieve Their New Year's Goals

Although we still haven't shared our New Year's goals here on the blog, I have been thinking about it a lot and also wanted to get my kids involved. I love the New Year because it is a time to reset, reevaluate, and refresh.  My kids are naturally pretty goal oriented so I talked with each of them about what they wanted to achieve in 2019.

My oldest daughter made a "vision board" by printing out images, cutting out pictures from magazines, and writing goals or things she wanted focus on this year.  She came up with this idea on her own, which I just loved!  She has it hanging in her room to serve as a reminder.

Although my younger two had no interested in a vision board, they did talk about what they wanted to achieve this year and I also interjected some things that I thought they needed to work on, too.

Towards the end of 2018 life just happened. We got busy, so I got a little lazy as a mom, and let things slide that I normally wouldn't.  But, with the new year amongst us and the kids starting back to school this past Monday I wanted to do a hard reset.  Things like the way technology is used, the way homework and studying is done, and the focus of our very precious and very little free time.

I thought I would share some of the tips I am doing to help support my kids in achieving their 2019 goals in hopes that someone else who is ready for a reset might find a little inspiration!

5 Tips for Helping Kids Achieve Their New Year's Goals

1. Take Away Technology - Yikes!  I can't believe I even wrote those words. Now I'm not taking away their devices completely, but some big changes happened.  I found that they were spending way too much time watching YouTube, scrolling Instagram and messaging with friends when they could be spending that time in a more productive way. Now, this is totally the pot calling the kettle black because I am also guilty of spending too much time on social media (Instagram Stories are my weakness).  So the new rule in our house is that their phones, iPads, etc. are off limits when we are at home unless certain things are completed (see next tip below for the details).

We have plenty of time in the car getting to sports that they can use their devices and if they finish all their other responsibilities they can use it at home, but we are cutting back big time...especially during the school week.  This wasn't a shock to the kids. I had been telling them all during the break that things were going to be changing a bit when school started back so they were ok with it.

2. Make It Visual - In order to keep up with their responsibilities and tasks that are going to be good uses of their time, I wanted to create something that would give them ownership.  Not just me nagging at them to do something or saying "no phones."  Instead, they helped me come up with things they needed to do each day in order to achieve their goals.

Obviously homework and studying will help with good grades at school, cleaning their rooms will help keep me off their backs and practicing their sports skills will help them get on the teams they are aspiring for.  The reading part is for my own sanity because although they like to read at night in bed, I can't always be sure that we can squeeze that in.  Usually we get home pretty late after sports stuff so getting it done earlier in the day makes sure that they get it done!

I just created these quick little charts and personalized them for each kid.  I saved them so I can print off a copy each week.  They are taking ownership by checking the boxes and keeping up with what they should be doing. After all the boxes are checked and they have truly completed everything without rushing through it they can use a phone or iPad, if they choose to.

3. Get Organized - I am an organized person by nature. I come by it honest because my mom is super organized so it rubbed off on me.  I love making lists and I still keep an old-school paper planner that I swear keeps my life on track and keeps us going in the right direction each day.

My girls are starting to learn a lot of these organizational tasks and love keeping up with their schedules so I got them each planners for 2019 so they can keep up with what they have each day.

4. Get Involved - This one is on me as a mom.  While my girls are both very organized and great and keeping up with homework and tests, I found they still need guidance.  I'm getting involved by making sure they not only just looked over the information for a test, but actually know it inside and out. No more just taking their word for it.

Sports goals are going to be achieved with lots of practice and me actually getting out there and helping them with practicing is going to go a lot further to help them achieve their goals.  Of course, I could always find something to do inside like laundry, cleaning or answering an email, but when they want my help, I'm going to do my best to get involved.

5. Find What Motivates Them - I am not above bribery.  It works for some kids and mine are highly motivated by that carrot dangling in front of them.  I'll never forget when my Blondie seemed to have lost her competitive drive during soccer games.  She was four years old and used to score all the time then all of the sudden she just kind of ran along with all of the other kids.  Next game I offered her a dollar if she scored a goal and she scored twice!

If there is something specific they want (within reason) we are making deals that as certain goals are achieved they will be rewarded.  It might be as simple as a treat from the concession stand after a home run, a trip to get nails done after a new tumbling skill is accomplished or something bigger after a huge goal is met.

Do your kids set goals each New Year?  What are some ways you help them achieve their goals?

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