Help your child to set tangible goals, and water them until they bloom.
Sit down with your child before they go back to school, and help them write a little letter to their future selves outlining their hopes and dreams for the upcoming year.
The process will help your child to get in the habit of setting tangible, achievable goals in a way that will feel empowering and enriching, rather than suffocating or overwhelming.
- Sit down with your child, ahead of the upcoming school term.
- Go through the list of questions below together. Explain the meaning of any questions they are unsure of.
- Next, get them to write a letter to their future self, answering each of the questions in as little or as much depth as they like. Their answers will allow you to gauge how they’re really feeling about the upcoming changes the term will bring.
- When they’ve finished writing and pondering, get your child to fold the letter into their envelope.
- Keep the letter in a safe, dry spot and go back to it at the end of each term this year. Reviewing it frequently will help your child to measure any changes in themselves, and will keep them firmly on track.
- What your child makes of their goal setting is up to them, and their goals needn’t be super academic or competitive to be valid. They may want to improve their results, or feel more confident in a certain class, or they might simply want to make more of an effort to help other children in the class this term, or to make some new friends.
- What do you like and dislike about school?
- What is your favourite and least favourite subject?
- What are you good at? What is more difficult for you?
- What would you most like to learn about, if you could learn about anything at all?
- Make believe that you could snap your fingers and become head teacher for a whole day. What would you change about your school?
- Is there anything new that you would like to try out this year? Is there anything you would like to feel more confident about?
- Most of our goals are within our control. What do you think you can do to make your hopes and dreams for the year come true? How will you know you’re on track? Remember to set SMART goals which you can measure in a tangible way (guidance below).
SMART goal setting
In order to set goals that are achievable, you and your child should try to bear the SMART method in mind. Goals should be specific, measureable, achievable, relevant and timely.
Specific – what exactly will you do?
Measureable – how will you know if you have met your goal?
Achievable – what steps are you going to take to reach your goal?
Relevant – what about your goal makes it important to you?
Timely – when do you want to complete your goal?
- 1 hour
- A piece of paper, a pen, an envelope
- Resilience, ambition, time management, confidence, creativity
- Dreamers and doers