Ways To Help Your Children Set Goals

I think my kids are at an age that I need to find ways to help your children set goals.  With Caitlin at 14 and Henry being 11, I think they both need to learn to set their own goals.  As parents, we can only go so far doing things for our kids before we have to nudge them out of the nest to fly solo.  I don’t want to go overboard and intimidate them, but I would love them to be able to make just a few short term goals for themselves.  If you are in the same situation, I am happy to share these great suggestions with you.

Ways To Help Your Children Set Goals

  • Start Simple:  We aren’t trying to get our kids to make their college plans and set a date for their wedding just yet, but we can help them set some short term and realistic goals for themselves.  You can make it as easy as a few chores they want to accomplish for the week or a bit more intense like creating a reading schedule for the summer.
  • Be Specific:  You must have your kids be very detailed about what the goal is.  If they set a goal to clean a room in the house sometime next month, is not the most specific or detailed goal to set.  Ask your kids if they want you to sit down and help them narrow down what the goals will be and how detailed they need to be.
  • Set A Deadline: A good goal is nothing if you done’ give it a deadline otherwise, it isn’t much of a goal, is it?  A goal must have a deadline, otherwise you would never know if the goal had been accomplished.  Again, ask your kids to allow you to help set a reasonable deadline. I know my kids have some trouble deciding how long something may take and therefore they end up making a deadline that they can’t meet.
  • Keeping Track:  If you have goals set, you need to keep track of them or again, they will not be much of a goal.  Also, in order to have a sense of accomplishment, your kids need to be able to see their goals in black and white.  One of the most thorough and beneficial systems I have seen to help your kids set goals and more would be Progress Cards.  This system has been designed for parents as well as educators to help the children in their lives to set themselves up to be better adults.

Giving Your Kids Encouragement

The path to being a good adult is all about giving your kids encouragement when they are young.  I was not encouraged as a child and I promised myself I would raise my kids much differently than I was raised.  Not a day goes by that I don’t tell my kids I am proud of them, they are important, they matter and they are amazing.  What I love about the Progress Cards is they are so multi-faceted.  These cards help your kids deal with their emotions, learn to resolve conflict, improve their self-esteem, doing their homework and a ton more.  One of the things that attracted me to the Progress Cards was for Henry because with his autism, he has difficulty dealing with emotions and resolving disputes.  For Caitlin, we have had a lot of issues with bullying and these cards even help your kids learn to deal with bullies.

The man behind Progress Cards is Scott Ertl, who among other things was once a circus performer.  I know you are probably wondering who he thinks he is being a funny man in a circus and making up these cards I should use with my kids, right?  Well, don’t panic because Scott also has been an elementary school counselor who helped countless kids not only develops goals but to turn their obstacles into opportunities.  Now, Scott is a popular keynote and motivational speakers all over the country.  Scott developed the Progress Cards in 2002 in order to record strategies and solutions for behaviors of kids as tips for parents and teachers.  What Scott did was open a line of communication and offered help to raising kids into being productive, positive and outstanding grown-ups.  All I can say is well done Scott!

One reader will win a Parent Pack of Progress Cards ($16.99) from Scott Ertl


  1. I like the Educator’s package, but have no use for it anymore since I am not teaching. This looks like a good program. It gives the child and parent a way to track the child’s progress. These would work well for home schoolers, too.

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