Category: Guest Posts

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.

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation

One of the things that surprised me most about parenting is how many life skills need to be taught directly. Of course, we teach our children to use the bathroom independently and tie their shoes, but we also teach them how to resolve conflicts and help in the kitchen. One of the most important jobs of parenting (in my opinion) is teaching kids about money. I reached out to my friend Heather Farris from The Balanced Mamas to share her best tips with us!

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation | teaching kids about money management, teaching kids money learning, learning money management

Money is a tough subject to talk about in some family homes. In fact I came from a home where money wasn’t plentiful. My parents worked hard but they weren’t the best at teaching the kids about money.

I’ve grown up thinking I had to hang on to everything I earn and work myself to death to get it.

That’s not what I wanted for my children. I wanted to teach my children about money in a way that would provide a healthy foundation while still instilling the importance of it.

Money is simply a tool in our household. Teaching kids about money is an important lesson and as parents we get to choose how to do it.

FOUNDATIONS OF TEACHING KIDS ABOUT MONEY 

Teaching kids about money can start at a young age. You can start with projects, looking at coins and talking about what they are. Point out the differences in them and have your toddler repeat it back to you. Make it fun and they will play along.

Ages 2-3

When my first daughter was 2 I went out and bought a piggy bank that she could play with. She was obsessed with our coins and I didn’t want to make it something she couldn’t have because that leads to power struggles.

So I bought the piggy bank, filled it with coins and showed her how to take the bottom off of it. For weeks she would fill it up, take the bottom out and let all of the coins fall all over her legs.

Ages 4-5

Then she got to the point of understanding that when I give people those coins they would give me something in return.

At around 4 she started paying close attention when we would go grocery shopping.

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation | teaching kids about money management, teaching kids money learning, learning money management

Learning Activities for Preschoolers

Empty the piggy bank and set a savings goal for the family. Choose what you will spend it on together and get started. Everyone can add to it and you can count how much is in the bank as you add to it. Keep a running tally and let them help with the counting.

Once you reach your goal then head out to spend your money on your prize.

By doing this you’re teaching them the value of money. They will have a certain amount to spend and once it’s gone it’s gone.

Take Them Shopping

One of my favorite activities when I was shopping with my daughter was to take her grocery shopping. I know I’m a little nutty but we made it a thing and she was well behaved.

So as we made our way through the store I would hand her items to hold and feel. I would tell her the item name, color and price. Eventually, she got to where she knew the prices and what was what as I placed it in the cart.

Have Them Pay

Your kids will undoubtedly get cash for their birthdays or other holidays. This is a good time to teach them that what they are asking for costs money. So have them pay for their toys or ice cream.

Teach Them About Work

This could be simply having them do a chore around the house. Kids are funny in they are always wanting to buy something. Instead of telling them no and ending the conversation tell them they have to pay for it once they have earned enough.

Teaching Them Wants Vs Needs 

This can be a difficult topic for preschoolers to understand because they are just learning the concept of buying things that could be considered a want.

For the school-aged kids though this is a great lesson.

Start at the store when you’re out grocery shopping. As you place things in your cart explain to them why you’re buying it.

While mom’s special chocolate that she doesn’t have to share could be considered a need you can take the opportunity to explain why you want it.

Have them help you as you go through the store distinguish what is a want and a need.

Don’t Tell Fibs About Money

Kids respect honesty as much as adults do. If they are at the store and ask for something you don’t want to buy them don’t just simply tell them no because you can’t afford it. Explain to them that you have a budget for toys and it’s not in the budget right now.

They will move on quicker with this tactic than if you simply say no.

Talking to your kids about budgeting will bring awareness that money doesn’t just come and go freely.


Click here to read more of Heather’s posts about money!

Teaching Kids About Money: Setting A Solid Foundation | teaching kids about money management, teaching kids money learning, learning money management


Final Thoughts

Teaching kids about money can be fun if we as parents make it fun for them.

Treat these conversations about money as a teachable moment. Their little brains are soaking up so much knowledge everyday. If you take the time to start them young with healthy money conversations then you will give them that solid foundation they need.

But wait! Money conversations don’t just happen once or twice and that’s it. Continue the conversation as they get older.

Build your bookshelf with books that include subjects around money. (The Intentional Book Club is a great place to go for book recommendations! You can click my referral link and try it free for seven days.)

Continue the conversation and get them involved! 

How are you teaching your kids about money?


Teaching Kids About Money | A Guest Post from Heather of The Balanced Mamas

Heather is an entrepreneur, blogger, and mom of two. She and her husband live in the Midwest where he is stationed in the Air Force. On her blog, TheBalancedMamas.com, Heather helps other moms build a balanced home and enjoy more quality time with their families by building systems and routines. She does this by providing practical solutions that moms can implement quickly so they can get back to spending quality time with their family.

Baking with Kids to Shape Their Future

Baking with Kids to Shape Their Future

Fall has arrived, and I am on the hunt for indoor activities to do with my children! Since Thanksgiving is the week, I thought it would be the perfect time to reach out to Cynthia of Mom’s Bread Bites to get her thoughts on the benefits of baking with kids. Grab some ingredients, and bake a loaf of bread together this week!

Why Bread?

The act of how to make your own bread has been a basic life skill for almost a long as we humans have been around.  It’s easy and more convenient to pick up a couple super big, chewy loaves at the store than to measure ingredients, mix them together, let it rise, shape it, then bake and cool it down.  Sounds more like an exercise regime, doesn’t it? Reading into the history of bread, YES, it used to be very labor intensive!

Yet more people are becoming aware of ingredients and for choosing to make what they can from scratch at home.  Even if allergies and diet aren’t high on your priority list, the benefits of bread making are so much more than just knowing what’s inside of your food. It can, in essence, help to build character and improve mental health.

Bread baking can be incorporated into busy lifestyles if you truly want to make the time. And starting children off young is half the effort. We all want our children to be their best, so invest in them.

Be sure to check out Cynthia’s Bread Making Bootcamp posts!

Baking with Kids | kids in the kitchen, indoor family activities, making bread with children, learning activities, Thanksgiving cooking

Your children can start helping in the kitchen as young as two years old and contribute until they are baking all on their own. Making bread is an inexpensive way to get them started contributing.  Much like chores and routines, the actual act of making bread gives your child a sense of value and a role to play in your family. When everybody has a job to do, including dumping and mixing, there is a certain peace in the home.  The kneading and shaping bread is very hands on. You can get elaborate if you like, but the goal is to share an enjoyable activity together while creating something.

Baking has also been proven to be therapeutic is using various ways of therapy!

It’s a Creative Outlet

There are many people who have children with special needs and it is harder for them to learn basic life skills be they social or otherwise. There is an art and level of creativity that can be used when learning how to make bread because there’s a lot that goes into simply feeling what it is in the dough and tweaking based on what it needs. Yeast bread is a living thing and needs care and attention.

Baking for Neighbors

I love baking for my neighbors, who almost never refuse one of my test recipes.  As an extrovert, it gives me a reason to knock on their door and bring along my littles so they can meet us. I have yet to have anyone refuse, and often they follow up later in the week with “that bread was GONE the same day!”

I believe that bread making can serve an important and vital role in our communities, be it an outlet for a child having “Big Feelings” and no words yet, or a local bakery offering an apprenticeship to at-risk youth. Children matter, no matter how small. Or big. Their future is based on their todays, so we cannot remind them enough that they are important and have value to the family and their community. We all want to belong and be loved.

I recently read a story about a downtown LA bakery that offered job opportunities to former gang members. Unfortunately, it was burned down in the 90s. The idea resonated with me about offering opportunities to people who need them, especially our kids.

People often need chances to prove and reprove that they are.  While I certainly don’t assume anyone’s child will become related to a gang or have less than desirable friendships, the benefits are clear. It’s very much a “teach a man how to fish” kind of thing. As our children grow, they gain more experience, and we offer more responsibility, more freedom, and more individuality.  Right in their home.


Baking with Kids | kids in the kitchen, indoor family activities, making bread with children, learning activities, Thanksgiving cookingMom’s Bread Bites

Cynthia is a self-taught bread baker and homeschooling mom of three. She began making bread as a way to cope with a tragic loss and it helped her to fight depression and work through grief in a healthy way. Now, she teaches moms how to use breadmaking to create lasting memories with their children.

You can visit Cynthia’s website, Mom’s Bread Bites, or follow her on Facebook!