Guiding Our Children to Set Goals for the New School Year

10:21 PM

And so the new school year just started last week, marking another year for our children to make their own milestones in learning, socializing, and testing their limits. My two children and I had a rather long talk a week before about what they hoped to accomplish this time. My question was initially met by blank stares then a grin. Those reactions were then followed by a quick remark that school opening is still a good one week away. I gently countered that it is the perfect time then to plan and set goals.



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So in between munching on cookies and sipping gloriously cold juice, we settled on their respective goals. I did not choose them for my kids but rather allowed them to decide for themselves based on what we have talked about. This is in the hope that they will do what needs to be done to achieve those goals.

Here are some points I can share in how I try to guide my children set goals for the new school year:

Review

We usually start goal-setting by looking back on the previous years. While we highlight the achievements, we give emphasis as well on the challenges they encountered. We exchange ideas on how we think a situation can be handled better or think of another strategy which can help produce positive results the next time around.

Restart

Since we are about to face a new school year, we do not dwell on previous "failures" after we have talked about it. It is enough that they are aware of the possible reasons for such results. The start of the school year means a fresh start for everyone.

Responsibility

My children are in the age wherein they can manage to be responsible for themselves especially when it comes to studying. Of course, my husband and I are always ready to help but we have stepped back to make them realize that they are the ones primarily responsible for their studies. Children need to take responsibility at a certain point.

Reason

Goals should not be set too high so as not to make it unreasonable to achieve nor too low to be of any good. Who dictates the limit? No one. Parents can only support where their children's dreams lead them to, hopefully with the wisdom to know when to say yes or no.

Revisit

It is possible that goals need to be adjusted depending on prevailing circumstances so goals need to be revisited and assessed every once in a while. However this does not mean lowering standards or compromising principles. It is simply adapting to life's realities while pursuing goals.

My Say

To be very honest, I put much emphasis on academic learning during my children's younger years. Though it produced good results in terms of grades, I noticed their fear whenever they had to tell me that they got a low grade for a test. Although my intention was for them not to be contented with just passing, it was certainly not my intention to put extraordinary stress on them so I had to reconsider my teaching style. 

That said, parents just really want the best for their children but we can only go so far on certain areas of their life. Studying is one. There is one thing however that my children need to know. That is the fact that my husband and I will always be there watching over them even if we pretend not to, to allow them a certain degree of independence to find themselves and what they can be. 

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