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5 Tips to Effectively Explain Goal Setting to your Child

Goal setting is a sound educational concept. Parents and teachers know the benefits of goal setting. Building up self-confidence and developing strengths and challenging weakness’. Explaining this concept to your child will be half the battle won towards encouraging them to set realistic goals.

goal setting steps

Here are five simple tips to help explain goal setting:

1. Set the Scene

Creating a scenario that children can relate to and creating imagery often helps to explain an abstract concept. You can use the analogy of scoring a goal in a sports event. A goal scored is always part of a setup or a series of moves to reach the final act of scoring a goal. There are many ways to use sport to explain the concept of setting goals and then relating them to other activities.

mother discussing goal setting to her child

2. Discuss the Purpose

Goals have a purpose and if your child understands that setting a goal is part of a plan then it may make more sense. Choose a purpose or target and decide on the steps to get there. Explain how having an end result, a target, helps to set the goal. It is something you work towards. It doesn’t even have to be school-related. A goal is something you wish for and the actions you take are the way to achieve that goal.

3. Talk about Steps to Reach a Target

SMART goal setting target written on a notebook

The best way to understand goal setting is to understand how to break down the journey into steps to reach an end result - the goal. Make a chart, or draw a diagram, to have an image of the steps to take. Review the steps and progress made. This will help with understanding goal setting.

4. Build on the Excitement

Goal setting should be an exciting event. Tell your child that setting goals are a fun way of achieving something. Explain it is not just the end result, but it involves rewarding the little victories along the way. Make sure this is part of the plan. Recognising small victories as you progress, to achieve the main goal helps to understand what goal setting is all about.

5. Have Fun Discussing the Goal - Is it Realistic?

Part of explaining goal setting is to have a healthy positive discussion about the goal. What is it and why is it a goal? Have a few laughter moments about setting unrealistic goals like building a swimming pool on the moon or living underwater with seals. In these lighter moments help your child to realise a goal must be attainable and the steps to reach the goal have to be manageable. 

daughter happily achieved goals with mother

A goal is not real if your child can not achieve that goal. This is where knowing your child and their strengths and weakness’ helps to explain how goals work and how people achieve them.

When you feel your child has a better understanding of the process and purpose of goal setting,

You can start to set their goal and be ready to help them as they grow to understand how goal-setting works.

Bill Copeland had this to say about goal setting. This quote is an easy way to understand the futility of not setting a goal.

The trouble with not having a goal is you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.’



‘The trouble with not having a goal is you can spend your life running up and down the field and never score.’

Discuss this quote with your child and see if they can understand the picture that is painted through the image of someone running aimlessly up and down the field.  This may be all they need as an incentive to get going with goal setting.


If you like your child to hit the ground running this new school term or you want an expert help  to assist them with goal setting, why not click here and enquire now. 

Get started today with a free assessment and consultation!