Monday, June 16, 2014

Setting Summer Goals with Your Kids

I've been inspired by Saren over at Power of Moms to help my kids set some summer goals. Since mine are still very young, I wanted to find a way to keep it simple. Here's what came to mind:

 Paper chains! 
They are easy to make and I think they help teach goal-setting very effectively.
(Aren't Charlotte's poses impressive? Don't worry, there's more coming.)

 I recently read the book The Power of Habit, where it talks about how habits are formed. It mentions two factors in forming a habit: 1) a prompt and 2) a reward. I've been thinking of this as I look over my own goals for the year and I've tried to incorporate a prompt, or reminder, for my goal as well as a reward for myself when I take action toward reaching that goal (always involves food).
 I think this same formula is effective with kids and that's why I'm testing out these paper chain goals to see if it actually works.
1) The prompt (or reminder): a bright and colorful paper chain hanging where they see it every day.
2) Reward: The satisfaction of tearing off a link in the chain as they work toward their goal. We are also rewarding them with ice cream when they reach their goal.

I think that's our reward for everything. 'Cause mom needs a reward just as much as they do.

 So tonight for our Family Home Evening, we talked about the importance of goals, using this awesome lesson plan as a guide. Then we gathered some markers, paper, scissors, and glue and went to work on our paper chains. (We also had our cute neighbor next door join us for the evening:)
 I had them write their end goal down on the first strip of paper. (We wrote on them before we made them into chain links). This one was Charlotte's goal: to learn to swim by herself, without floaties.
 On each subsequent link, I helped them think of specific steps they would take to reach their goal. That's another reason why I like these paper chains because it helps them to think of a goal as a sequence of smaller steps that lead them to their final desired outcome.

Some of Charlotte's specific steps to reach her goal to swim without help are:
1. Go to swim lessons! We added a link for the last four days of her lessons this week so she can tear one off when she gets home.
2. Practice with Dad in the pool.
3. Practice going under water in the bathtub (supervised by mom).
4. Practice "bobbing" underwater in the pool.
5. Practice jumping into the pool and swimming to mom or dad.

She thought of most of these herself, with a little encouragement from mom, and she wrote them all down herself, with LOTS of help from mom. I wanted her to have as much ownership as possible in this goal.
 And then we ate popsicles.
Hazel's goal is to get better at telling time and understanding the calendar. She thought of that one on her own, but needed a lot of help thinking of her specific steps to reach that goal.
And then Hazel was grumpy. But I took a picture anyway.

I'm excited to see how these work! Happy summer. So glad it's finally here.
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1 comment :

  1. Smart to do the chains! I look forward to hearing how it goes!