Tag: life skills

Goal Setting for Kids

Goal Setting for Kids

One of my favorite parts of parenting is teaching my girls skills that they will use throughout their life. From reading to laundry to goal setting, there are so many things to learn! Sometimes I get stressed by all the the things I need to teach, but this world is full of amazing experts who are willing to share their knowledge. Karen Delano is one of these amazing coaches! I reached out to her to see what advice she has about teaching kids how to set goals. Read on for a simple strategy you can use again and again!

Goal Setting for Kids | goal setting activities, goal setting ideas, growth mindset, family goals, child development, life skills | guest post from Karen Delano @ If It Were Simple

Happy New Year! It’s that time of year that many of us are setting goals for ourselves.

Goal-setting is a powerful skill we can teach our kids as well. Not only does it teach them responsibility for their own behaviors and learning but it establishes a lifelong habit for success.

The key to setting goals with kids is to keep it simple and fun! Start with smaller, short term goals that can be achieved in a week or less so they can see and feel success quickly and eventually your child will be excited to work on longer term goals.

But first things first, make sure your child knows what a goal is — something they want to accomplish by a certain time in the future. Let them know they can reach a goal by following a step-by-step plan and that making this plan is called goal-setting. It can be helpful to give them examples of your own goals to illustrate the idea by saying something like, “Mommy’s goal is that I will finish reading my library book by Friday. So I’m planning to spend 30 minutes reading before bed each night.”

Dream

Ask your child to dream of something they want to learn, do, create, change or overcome. Let them brainstorm all of their ideas – even ones that seem unrealistic or unimportant to you. It’s okay if they say they want to have a pet unicorn. At this point we just want them to start imagining and, too, any time we fully listen to our kids it strengthens our relationship.

Choose

Now it’s time to help your child reflect on their ideas and pick one to begin. Kids need to choose their own goal because it needs to motivate them and, of course, they’re more likely to follow through on their own ideas. But you can guide them towards setting a goal that’s realistic and within their control by breaking bigger goals into smaller, more manageable steps.

Visualize

Ask your child to close their eyes and imagine themselves having achieved their goal. Encourage them to tell you what it looks like, sounds like, and feels like. Then have them draw a picture of it! This visual reminder helps kids stay motivated when they start to get off track.

Plan

Work with your child to come up with a step-by-step plan of how they’ll take action. Have them decide when they want to get started and by when they want to achieve the goal. Determine if they need any help or resources. Another way to set kids up for success is by getting them to anticipate obstacles and how they’ll overcome them. Asking questions like “I wonder what you could do if xyz happens?” Using your own example can be helpful here too — “I might be too tired to read one night, so I could always fit some reading in after lunch so I’ll still finish by Friday.”

Celebrate

The process of setting and working toward a goal is an accomplishment in itself, even if your child doesn’t reach the goal. Inspire them to want to keep trying new things and to persevere with challenges by celebrating anyway!

It doesn’t have to be big or even be a “thing.” Simply honor the process with a round of applause, a dance party or a homemade certificate. Keep it something easy and fun!

And then — do it again! Over time you and your child will find out how they learn best, what motivates them the most, and goals can become more complex and longer-term.

I can’t wait to try this goal setting process with my girls!

What are your thoughts about teaching kids to set goals?


Goal Setting for Kids | A Guest Post from Karen of If It Were Simple

Karen Delano is a Simplicity Parenting Family Life Coach. She’s been a preschool teacher, run her own in-home play school and now she helps moms reduce their kid’s challenging behaviors, build connection in their family and deal with the stress that keeps them from acting and feeling like the mom they want to be. You can visit her website {If It Were Simple} and download her free guide to get kids to listen.

Learning to Read is a Lot Like Potty-Training

Learning to Read is a Lot Like Potty-Training

Over the last year, I have realized how many childhood skills need to be taught directly and intentionally. Our kids need to learn from us how to appropriately handle money, relationships, and conflict before they become adults, right? It got me thinking about our early years of parenting, all the way back to potty-training, and how easily those same ideas apply to academic skills like learning to read and write.

Learning to Read is a Lot Like Potty-Training | early literacy, parenting tips, ideas for families, child development, preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, motivation, fun, encouragement

It’s a beautiful process, one of my favorite things about parenting. Both of my girls have become happy, independent readers…and I love it. If you’re at all concerned about your child’s journey toward becoming a reader, I have some encouragement for you:

  • Every child will learn in his/her own time.

Parents often ask me about programs and curriculums designed to teach young kids how to read. Like potty-training, I think our culture has turned learning to read and “getting ahead” into a money-making opportunity. Is Reading Eggs fun? Yes. Is it necessary? Probably not.

Learning to read is a milestone in every child’s life that cannot (and should not) be rushed. A child who is read to regularly will love books and learn how to read when the time is right.

  • There is no ONE “right” way to learn.

There has been a major push toward phonics-based programs over the past decade: books, DVDs, apps. While I certainly believe phonics are an integral part of any literacy program, there is SO much more to learning to read.

The good news is, there are as many ways to learn how to read as there are potty-training methods. In all facets of early learning, I believe in finding the “right” way for YOUR child and YOUR family.

  • Every adult caregiver needs to be on the same page.

As I have mentioned before, I have a background in elementary education. I have a HUGE respect for teachers, especially those who teach preschool and Kindergarten. I was a teacher before I was a mom, though–and if I stepped back into a classroom tomorrow, I would do things differently.

Yes, teachers know a lot about child development and classroom management, but parents are the TRUE experts when it comes to their children.

Learning to Read is a Lot Like Potty-Training | early literacy, parenting tips, ideas for families, child development, preschool, Kindergarten, 1st grade, motivation, fun, encouragement

Kids will have an incredible number of influential adults in their lives: coaches, church workers, doctors, and teachers. Parents are the consistent thread throughout a child’s lifetime. You know how your child learns best, what his interests are, what kinds of books will keep her up with a flashlight at night. When it comes to your child’s learning journey, YOU are the adult with the most influence.


Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Grab our FREE Guide for Parents of Babies, Toddlers, and Preschoolers!

Raising children who love reading doesn’t just happen. So let’s be more intentional together, okay?

Distraction-Free Parenting {FREE Challenge}

Distraction-Free Parenting {FREE Challenge}

Just last week in our Facebook group, I took a poll about parenting goals for 2018. Which of these mean the most to you?

  • Additional family time
  • Extra adventures (travel & day trips)
  • Fewer distractions during family time
  • Greater understanding of child development
  • More emphasis on learning at home

The number one response was “fewer distractions during family time,” which got me thinking…

What does distraction-free parenting look like?


 

istraction-Free Parenting | family communication, positive parenting, fun family activities, parenting tips, family relationships


(Reminder: Rolling Prairie Readers uses affiliate links at no additional cost to you.You can see our full disclosure policy here.)

If you’re anything like me, you might struggle with the temptation to reach for your phone during family time. It’s so common, in fact, that a whole book has been written about it!  

One of our regular family activities is going to our indoor community pool. We try to go one or two evenings a week, after my husband gets out of work. At first, I had a hard time relaxing in the water; my mind kept racing with a multitude of things to add to my to-do list.

Over the last few months, swimming has become one of my favorite ways to unwind because it’s a distraction-free zone. From the moment we arrive at the aquatic center, my phone goes into my bag and I am 100% focused on my family.

Throughout 2018 I am going to take the parenting lessons I have learned at the pool and spend time cultivating our family relationships phone-free. 


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Inspiring and empowering our kids starts with building authentic relationships with our kids. Trust me when I say, I’m not writing this as a perfect parent who has it all figured out. Distraction-free parenting is one of my very real struggles as a mom, and I would guess it resonates with some of you as well.

Being a work-at-home, homeschooling mama of two means that some multitasking is necessary. Sometimes, I’ll read a chapter of a book on my Kindle app while my girls play outside or pin images to Pinterest while we’re watching football on Sunday afternoons. I listen to podcasts and audiobooks while driving, and I brainstorm blog post ideas while I’m in the shower.

One of my friends recently told me that her parenting goal is to let go of the things that won’t matter in a year. So, for 2018, I am going to focus on living a less distracted life! That means:

  • no Facebook when I should be writing
  • less Instagram during homeschool lessons
  • turning my phone off during family time

Distraction-Free Parenting | family communication, positive parenting, fun family activities, parenting tips, family relationships

In 2018, I’m inviting each of you to join me in being less distracted while we are with our families. This is a yearlong parenting challenge built on baby steps, with one small activity or idea coming your way on the first of each month. If you would like to be part of our distraction-free parenting series, just fill out this quick form.

 Your first Distraction-Free Parenting challenge email will arrive in your inbox on Monday, January 1st.


30 Winter Activities | Free School Holiday Survival Guide

While your kids are home from school this winter, try out this list of 30 “boredom-busting” activities for the whole family!

Here’s what’s included:

  • a weekly calendar template with tips for creating a flexible family schedule
  • a “menu” of more than 20 low-prep activities to keep your children happily engaged
  • lists of recommended seasonal books to grab at the library
  • a family reading log
  • our favorite resources for learning at home
  • AND 30 winter boredom busters!

Click here for more details!