Set Goals for Growing: Learn About It

Mother helping preteen daughter with homeworkStart Now to Prepare for a Positive Future

Families play a big role in children’s futures. We want our children to have good relationships and financial stability. We hope they improve our world.

Many things affect our children’s futures. These factors include where we live, the economy, and health issues. Many challenges are beyond our control. Yet, parents can take steps that lead children toward positive goals and a hopeful future.

What Is Being Goal Oriented?

Helping our kids become “goal oriented” is key. We can help our kids learn to work through problems. Distractions and difficulties are part of life. However, when our kids know how to “stick to it,” they can keep working toward  school and life goals. The following skills and attitudes of perseverance can help kids work through obstacles:

  • Being self-aware, which includes the ability to manage their thoughts and feelings so they can focus. This is called “executive function,” which is explained in this article for parents.
  • Being future oriented, which includes goals and a sense of hope and purpose.
  • Planning, which includes the skills to build bridges between what your child wants (setting goals) and actually moving toward those goals.
  • Taking initiative, which means taking actions toward future goals—not just waiting for things to happen.

These skills and attitudes develop with practice. That means parents and other adults have to let kids practice these skills. Sometimes our kids succeed, and sometimes they fail. If we just do things for them they won’t learn. We have to learn to share power with them more and more as they grow up.

These attitudes and skills will help kids in the present and the future. Whether they face small or big challenges, the skills and attitudes of perseverance can be used over and over. These qualities will help our children flourish as adults in work, family life, and our communities.

Next Steps

  • Take the quiz to reflect on the power of creating and working toward future goals.
  • Find out why being goal oriented matters for young people.