How to help your child plan for the new year….

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New Year’s resolutions are not just for adults alone. Kids can set New Year goals and smash them too.

Ideally, New Year’s resolutions teach kids how to set a goal and work with guidance toward achieving goals. This can help them grow into responsible adults. But kids may need some help creating meaningful goals they’ll be able to accomplish.

Here are simple and practical ways to help your kids set and accomplish New Year goals.

However, appealing an end goal is, it can be easily side-tracked. Here’s how to help your kid(s) craft a sustainable plan by following the SMART guidelines you would use for any projects:

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  • Specific: The new year resolution should include your child’s exact goal such as the skill your child wants to acquire and how it will be achieved. For example, “To become better at playing trumpet and feature in our school’s May concert, I’ll practice 30 minutes every day.”
  • Measurable: This is where you track your child’s progress or have him/her give you weekly report.
  • Attainable: The goal should be ambitious yet realistic. This should be something that will stretch the child’s skills without being overwhelming.
  • Results-oriented: The New Year Resolution should explain how your child(ren) will know if the goal has been met. For example: “Studying with a math tutor twice a week will help me consistently get A in the subject.”
  • Time-bound: Your child’s goal(s) should specify a reasonable time frame which can include mini-goals – mini-successes can be very motivating and helps in reaching the big goal.
  • Relevance: Your child’s resolution should be relevant to his age. (S)He can’t be writing about getting a Phd. at age 6!

Take note that your child’s specific goals will depend on his/her interests, challenges and abilities among other factors. This is why you need to guide the child to not just set goals academically. Other areas of life should be considered and built on as well.

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Social skills:  The goal can be to “Make more friends this year. By inviting someone twice a month, over from school.”

Academic skills: The goal could look like this; “In January, I’ll get a B or better on every science quiz by studying at least 45 minutes for each subject.”

Athletic skills: “Learn to run, by first downloading a training app. Then practice for the 5 kilometres Inter class cup and then 10 kilometres by the end of the year.”

Encourage your child to step back and think about the goals and then learn from the experiences along the way.

Don’t nag. Children are different when it comes to accomplishing tasks majorly due to personality differences. Regular progress checks are what you need to do as well encouragement along the way so they don’t slip into depression or see themselves as unable to get things done.

Share your own experiences with them. Be honest about what you did and didn’t do to accomplish your New Year’s resolutions and how it made you feel.

To cap it up, make family resolutions together. This brings families closer, and helps the kids learn by example.

Have we missed some thoughts on how to help kids do better? Do share with us in the comment section.

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