I’m sitting down today to set some goals with my son for 2017. At 7 years old, it’s important to me that this doesn’t feel like “work” or that I overwhelm him with a duty to perform, but it’s also important that he starts to think about what he wants to achieve; at school, at football and in life so he can take his own personal journey. I want this to be fun.
We’re going to sit down together with some coloured pens and a big piece of paper and write down lots of things he’d love to do and achieve. He doesn’t need to worry about the how. As parents, we can create opportunities for that.
Then, there are a few things that daddy and I want him to think about in 2017. Not leaving a path of destruction in his wake when it comes to the house is a big one. Spending a little more time and attention on homework is another. School is getting more serious now and he’s a bright boy who is easily distracted so one of the challenges here is to create some fun in the things he naturally doesn’t find interesting or enjoyable.
Last year, we subscribed to the Maths Factors, Carol Vorderman’s programme for daily maths lessons, which he’s done bits and bobs on but certainly not daily so I’m hoping that’s something he will agree to work on.
With reading, which he hates, I need to find books that he will actually enjoy, be they gory, Pokemon-related, baking recipes. What he reads doesn’t matter, only that he does, and gets pleasure from it.
As a child, I read endlessly and I can still bring to mind so many wonderful stories from Roald Dahl, Enid Blyton, Susan Coolidge and more. I’d love to see some of that joy from reading in him.
Aside from that, I’d love for him to share some of his wilder dreams, whether that’s an African Safari trip, flying a plane, climbing a mountain. Making such incredible memories from childhood means he has so much more lifetime to set and achieve more amazing goals.
Once we have our list, it’ll be whittled down. Setting too many creates the overwhelm that as adults, means by 7th January, we’ve mostly given up on our “resolutions” and gone back to old habits. A small amount of goals, some easily achievable will help maintain momentum and focus.
We’ll then look for photos online to support those goals and create a big moodboard of the goals with visual reminders of what we’re aiming for! Seeing that every day should keep them front of mind. I know that works for me!
Now my daughter is a little young for a full-on goal setting workshop at 2 and a half. I have kept it simple with her. Finish off the potty training (which she’s halfway there with) and teach her to read. She’s already showing a keen interest in books and I get a sense that she wants to try so making time to guide her each day will be my focus there. Having used the Reading Eggs interactive online programme for Josh which gamifies the whole process, that’ll definitely be my go-to tool for her too. As she’s very theatrical (ahem, that’s nothing like me then), I’ll also be getting her a ballet trial to see if she enjoys that. She’ll be keeping up her football training too though, as that’s something she and her brother love and it’s so good for enhanced motor skills, especially at 18 months – 3 years!
I’ll keep you posted on how they get on and I’d love to hear how you set goals with your children and what they are.