From an article on BigLifeJournal.com
We all know that setting and achieving goals is a life skill necessary for success and happiness. But it’s one that even adults REALLY struggle with: Studies say that only about 8% of people achieve their New Year’s resolutions!
How can we teach children to set realistic goals—and actually follow through?
Make it fun!
Research shows that children learn best when they’re playing and enjoying themselves at the same time. Fun experiences increase levels of endorphins, dopamine, and oxygen, all of which promote learning.
Here are 5 activities that can make goal setting more fun and effective.
1. Make a Bucket List
Typically, a bucket list is a list of accomplishments, experiences, or achievements that someone wants to have during their lifetime.
To teach your kids goal-setting—and have fun in the process—you can create a YEARLY bucket list.
It’s even more fun if the whole family gets involved.
Here's what to do:
Throughout the year, your family will have tons of fun accomplishing items on the list and checking them off.
As the year progresses and you start to notice several items remaining, you can talk about if you still want to accomplish each of these goals or if your family’s goals have changed. If you still want to accomplish them, how can you go about doing so? What steps will you need to follow?
Research shows that in addition to learning through play, children also learn effectively through experience. Keeping track of and planning toward goals will be a valuable learning experience for your child, and it’s a fun way for your family to bond as well!
At the end of the year, you can look back over all of the things your family has accomplished. You may even make creating an annual bucket list into a new family tradition!
2. Draw a Wheel of Fortune
The idea for the “wheel of fortune” was created by Dennis Waitley, author and authority on personal development.
Here’s what to do:
As your child reaches her goals in one segment of the wheel, do something to CELEBRATE, then repeat the process above for each additional segment.
Over time, your child will improve in many aspects of her life, all while learning to set and reach goals.
3. Create a Vision Board
A vision board is a great way to help your child visualize her goals. Your child will also have fun with this meaningful arts and crafts project.
Here’s what to do:
Making the vision board helps your child think through her goals, and it also serves as a powerful visual reminder of everything she would like to achieve.
Revisit the idea of the vision board often. Ask your child what different pictures represent and how she plans to achieve her various dreams.
If the goal is a big one, help her break it into simple pieces. What are some small steps she can take now to achieve her long-term goals in the future?
Your child will learn to set goals, think critically, and plan ahead. She’ll also develop the understanding that what she does now and throughout her life does matter and can positively impact her future.
4. Play 3 Stars and a Wish
3 Stars and a Wish is a fun way to get kids thinking about their goals while also providing some positive affirmation.
Here’s what to do:
Make sure that you or your child write everything down. If your child is old enough, it’s a good idea to have her write about her progress toward her wish on occasion.
Psychology professor Gail Matthews found that writing down your goals on a regular basis makes you 42% more likely to achieve them.
Having your child share her hopes and dreams with you makes her more likely to achieve them too. Dr. Matthews found that people are even more likely to achieve their goals if they share them with a friend (or parent) who believes they will succeed.
5. Ask Fun Questions
Asking your child questions about what she would like to accomplish is a standard component of the goal-setting process.
However, you can get creative and make the process more enjoyable with fun questions like:
Of course, some of these questions may prompt unrealistic answers from your child, but you can help her tweak them to be more achievable.
Then discuss that she may not win the lottery or find a magic genie, but she can take her fate into her own hands by making a plan to achieve her hopes, goals, and dreams.
It’s common for kids to be uninterested in setting goals, and even more uninterested in pursuing them to fruition. You can try to change that by making the process more fun with the following activities:
If you can get your child interested in setting and achieving goals, you’ll raise a determined and successful individual!
Hey parents, according to KidsHealth.org, kids ages 6-12 need physical activity to build strength, coordination, confidence and to lay the groundwork for a healthy lifestyle.
School-age kids should have many chances to participate in a variety of activities, sports, and games that fit for their personality, ability, age, and interests. Brainstorm with your kids on activities that feel right. Most kids won't mind a daily dose of fitness as long as it's fun.
Physical activity guidelines for school-age kids recommend that each day they:
• get 1 hour or more of moderate and vigorous physical activity on most or all days
• participate in several bouts of physical activity of 15 minutes or more each day
• avoid periods of inactivity of 2 hours or more unless sleeping
"I have been teaching martial arts for 44 years and I don’t know another sport that gives a child everything her or she needs. Two to three sessions a week give kids a structured time schedule for fitness, fun, self defense and protocol. Classes begin with respect and courtesy followed by stretching, strength building, aerobic training, jumping, kicking and learning self control and self defense. Everything the medical community recommends with a healthy dose of fun", says Master Greg Silva from Black Belt Schools International.
This is a great time to start kids with training. Many parents are looking for an indoor activity to keeps kids active all winter. Contact us for more information on our Karate for Christmas program!
Young children may often blame others for their own actions. At this age they are often aware of rules and if they break them they may try to shift the blame to others, or say it was out of their hands. However, learning to take responsibility from an early age can teach your child that she has control over her life. She may feel more invested in the choices she makes and the actions she takes because she begins to realize that she can affect the outcome of events.
Try using “we” frequently in conversation. Teaching responsibility at a young age can start by using the word “we” when speaking with your child. For example, “We put dishes in the sink after dinner,” or, “We pick up our toys before bed,” and even, “We treat others the way we would like to be treated.” This creates a home culture (how you do things in your home), which can help give your child confidence about her place in the family. Belonging to a family unit (whatever that looks like) can become a point of pride for a child. Taking responsibility at this age can center around small household tasks like helping pick up toys, washing fruits and vegetables for dinner, or even helping sort whites and darks for laundry.
Responsibility is also about others, and your child should be learning how his actions make others feel and how he affects others. Even from an early age, children can hurt each other’s feelings by name-calling or forming cliques. It’s important to teach your child that everyone has the right to their own feelings and opinions and that they are valid even if they are different from his own. Teach him that no matter what his feelings or opinions are, he does not have a right to treat others unfairly. Also teach him to apologize when he hurts another person, which allows you to show him the value of taking ownership for his actions.
Give your child the opportunity to make reparations when she hurts someone. Maybe she forgot to invite a friend to her birthday party, or she didn’t sit by a friend at lunch like she normally does.
Suggest to your child that perhaps that is the reason why her friend is upset with her, and that one way to remedy that would be to apologize. Learning to say “I’m sorry” — and to mean it — is another valuable skill for your young child to learn. To help your child further her understanding of apologies, have her work on saying something after “I’m sorry” and taking steps to prevent the wrongdoing in the future. For example, if your child breaks a sibling’s toy, you could ask her to think of a way she could make her sibling feel better. An apology could be “I’m sorry I broke your toy. I know it hurts your feelings that it’s broken. Next time I’m playing with your toys I will try to be more careful.”
Children often first tell lies when they break something by accident or take something that doesn’t belong to them. How you react to your child’s wrongdoing is critical, as she may be more or less likely to continue to tell you about the wrongdoing based on your reactions. Try to remain calm and even take a few minutes to address your child if you need to. One way you can support your child’s responsibility is to tell her ahead of time that you won’t love her any less for her mistakes or accidents. Tell her you’ll admire and respect her even more if she’s honest with you from the start. For example, try saying, “I am very sorry to hear you did that, but I am pleased that you told me honestly. That was not easy to do.”
From KidsHealth.org and comments by Greg Silva President of Black Belt Schools International
It takes confidence to be a kid. Whether going to a new school or stepping up to bat for the first time, kids face a lot of uncharted territory.
Naturally, parents want to instill a can-do attitude in their kids so that they'll bravely take on new challenges and, over time, believe in themselves. While each child is a little different, parents can follow some general guidelines to build kids' confidence.
Self-confidence rises out of a sense of competence. In other words, kids develop confidence not because parents tell them they're great, but because of their achievements, big and small. Sure, it's good to hear encouraging words from mom and dad. But words of praise mean more when they refer to a child's specific efforts or new abilities.
Martial Arts Instructors call this "Stacking". When students first come aboard we talk to parents about avoiding comparing their kids with other kids. In martial arts students real opponent or competition is themselves. "In the beginning instructors are "good finders" pointing out each child's strong points and praising them while challenging they to do something more" according to Grand Master Silva.
Once the journey begins kids gain competence at basics, kids, drills, patterns, self defense and free style. They earn and are rewarded belts, stripes and awards for practicing, patience, courtesy, goal setting and more, This "Stacking" of success references gives kids confidence to try new things and reach new levels because they are accomplishing things very few of their peers will ever do. A child that becomes a Black Belt is like a scout that becomes an "Eagle".
Martial Arts is also just fun, healthy, great for fitness and more. The gift of martial arts lessons is a gift that will go a long way.