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Goal Setting for Kids ~ How to Create Pictures That Motivate Kids

By Jean Tracy, MSS

Is your elementary age child a confident achiever? Or does he give up easily and shut down? Inside you'll find some parenting tips for achieving goals and building character too.

Developing goals starts with getting your kids to see. Years ago I viewed a training video by Lou Tice. I've never forgotten his words, "We move toward our pictures." He meant the pictures in our head.

If you're coping with "no" to almost everything you suggest, chances are your child may be picturing himself failing. Don't be discouraged. Here's a fun way to change his negative pictures to successful pictures.

Parenting Tips – 5 Goal-Setting Strategies:

  • Take your child to dinner once a week.
  • Offer him a problem story to solve.
  • Be quiet much of the time.
  • Let him talk to fill the silence.
  • Listen to the pictures in his head.

Taking him to dinner by himself gives him a positive connection with you. Avoid noisy restaurants. They can be so distracting. Use your problem story to encourage him to think. Invite him to share his thoughts by being quiet. Listen with interest. Learn about the pictures in his head.

Parenting Tips – A Sample Problem Story:

Pretend you know a boy named Larry. He bugged his parents for drum lessons. They rented drums and, at first, he practiced. Then he gave up. His band teacher had to give him a poor report. His parents exploded. Larry said, "I hate the drums." That wasn't true.

Make sure the story doesn't mirror your child's problems or he'll feel like you're manipulating him. He'll shut down and won't talk.

Here are some questions and requests to consider when discussing the story:

  • What negative pictures might Larry imagine when he sees himself playing the drums?
  • To be a good drummer, what pictures does Larry need to see in his head?
  • Ask your child to draw Larry's negative pictures and then Larry's positive pictures.
  • Ask him how the negative picture in Larry's head could affect Larry's actions. Then ask him how the postive picture in Larry's head could affect his actions.
  • Ask your child which picture would be best for Larry to see in his head and why.

Congratulations! Creating a story and asking for your child's pictures, will help your child realize how negative pictures limit him. Use Lou Tice's phase often, "We move toward our pictures." Don't be surprised if your child becomes an achiever. Continue this method weekly. It's easy. It's fun and it builds character too.

Our next article will present two magic words your kids must use when setting goals.

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1. 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids
2. 101 Ways to Get Your Children to Cooperate

Pick up our Goal Setting Kit for Kids Your children will set goals and achieve them with these easy tools!

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