In this video, our Managing Event Director, Molly, talks about the importance of setting goals and how that helped her to achieve her dreams at a young age.
When your kiddo comes to you with a big dream, like spunky little Molly telling her parents she wanted a horse, don’t dismiss it outright or immediately start calculating the level of financial ruin your kid’s dream will leave you in. Instead, make an action plan with your kid. Help them to figure out how they can realistically achieve that goal being honest and straightforward in this discussion. If your kid is really interested in their dream they will follow through. Dreaming big is something that comes naturally to kids and should be encouraged! Every time your kiddo mentions their aspiration, check in with them: “I love that you’re dreaming big! How are you coming on the first step in your action plan?”
Goal setting, as you might imagine, has a TON of benefits for our little dreamers, like:
Goal setting sets expectations
It can teach kids that their big ideas are attainable, but only when accompanied by drive and elbow grease
Goal setting encourages self-motivation
After helping your child to make an action plan, take a back seat. Once your kid realizes you’re not going to do this for them, they’ll learn that their dreams can come true when they take matters into their own hands
Goal setting sets up positive behaviors that your child will carry into adulthood
This is the real winner. Kids that learn at a young age to be self-sufficient and the value of hard work are set up to be motivated and driven for the rest of their lives.
Inevitably, your kid will hit a roadblock, or they won’t meet their goal as quickly as they thought. This might make them upset, and that is ok. Your job when this happens isn’t to sweep in and make things all better, it’s to use this as a learning opportunity. Have a candid conversation with your kid and talk about how things like that happen, and will continue to happen, but what they can do about it is pick themselves back up and try again. If you’re met with an incredulous look, now might be the time to share a personal anecdote. And don’t leave out the bad parts like, “I was so upset I moped for a week.” Showing this vulnerability and human-ness gives your kiddo the chance to do the same, and permission to make mistakes. Be sure though to loop back to perseverance: how, after you were done being upset, you started working towards your goal again because you realized that’s what it takes if you really want your dreams to come true. Ultimately, you’re teaching them that it’s not about the missteps they make, it’s about how they react to them.
What are your little dreamers working towards? Let us know in the comments, or join the conversation on social!