Goals Your Child Should Set

Setting goals is a very important value to teach children. At a young age, they need to understand the importance of setting their own goals and following through with them. They will not only learn to set goals but they will also learn to take on more responsibilities. Additionally, when children are taught at a young age to set their own goals, they will grow up to develop their confidence and strive to work harder to succeed. They also get a deeper sense of self-worth and satisfaction when they work to reach their goals. Helping the child learn to set their goals helps them pave the road to their success academically and in the future.

The First Step to Success

However good learning to set a goal is, there are also some repercussions in teaching them to children. The child’s age, dreams, and capabilities should be considered when setting goals. Goals should be adjusted depending on many factors so that they wouldn’t be counterproductive for the children and cause them stress or pressure.

There are many types of goals and most of them are categorized under two terms: long-term and short-term goals. As such, these goals can also be divided according to where they focus more on such as academics, work, or extra-curricular activities. Since we will be discussing setting goals for students, we’re going to tackle two types of goals that may help students.

Grade-based goals

Grade-based goals are ones that the child can reach through improvement and progress in their studies. These can be different milestones in education that they wish to reach. It can vary from finishing a project, mastering a difficult concept or topic, or acing a test. These goals are also more concrete and the results can be seen through paper or performance however, students can also set grade-based goals that are more abstract. Nevertheless, grade-based goals are more particular with academic performance through concrete evidence so while having abstract and general goals is acceptable, it’s better to put a piece of concrete evidence with the goal to make sure the goal is actually met.

Additionally, parents can help their children set these kinds of goals for them to also learn to understand and practice a positive work ethic. Activities can be determined to make sure the students reach their optimal goals and help them succeed. This will not only help them reach their goals but also help them focus on what they have to do in order to get their desired grades and understand the hard work that is behind every success.

Examples of grade-based goals

As mentioned, it’s better to make goals that are concise and can be measured so that students and parents can actually see if they are met. It should be easy to achieve grade-based goals if they look like the following:

  • Score 95 on the next Science
  • Get a grade in Science that ranges from 80-85 next quarter
  • Get an A on my English paper

Habit-based goals

While grade-based goals are more focused on the child’s academics, this doesn’t mean that habit-based goals aren’t. Ultimately, habits and a student’s lifestyle will still greatly affect a student’s academic life. This type of goal is more into changing the student’s activities and lifestyle choices to help them break bad habits and become more productive as well as introduce new key values that can help them become a better person in the future.

Habit-based goals and grade-based goals go hand in hand because both ultimately affect each other. When a child has good habits whether in time-management or study habits, they will have better chances of reaching their grade-based goals. Additionally, goal-based goals can also provide more drive for the child to change their bad habits and also succeed in their habit-based goals.

Examples of habit-based goals

It is said that it takes 21 days to form a habit. With the parents’ help, students can form new, purposeful habits that can help them in their studies and learn life skills. However, make sure that in setting goals such as, it still should be specific and concrete. Habits can also be turned into a routine for the child. Setting habits-based goals may look like this:

  • Spend at least 30 minutes after class to review notes or skim for the next lesson
  • Take notes in class and incorporate effective note-taking skills
  • Prepare school bag before going to sleep
  • Participate in class discussion at least twice per day

How to help your child reach their goals

Now that we’ve tackled the different kinds of goals that students should set, let’s now move on to how parents can help their child in setting these goals.

1. Start with short-term goals

Short-term goals are better to start with since they are easier to achieve. They can be achieved within a shorter time frame whether it be days or weeks. Additionally, it helps the child develop their other bigger goals. Tackling short-term goals will help the child see the importance of goals and appreciate the success and satisfaction that comes with them after reaching them. They will also develop more self-confidence every time they achieve their short-term goals and will look forward to achieving more. This can also be a good way for them to practice setting up bigger, more complex goals for themselves.

Examples of short-term goals

Short-term goals help the child focus on simpler goals that ultimately build-up to their bigger goals. Let them think of this as the levels in a videogame. There will be smaller quests for the character where they will gain more attributes which they can use when they meet with the boss at the last level. Short-term goals can look like the following:

  • Master solving a certain kind of Math problem for a week (This can be basic operations such as addition, subtraction, etc., or algebraic expression for higher-level students.)
  • Finish Science report by Saturday before it will be submitted on Monday
  • Start researching for English project three weeks before the deadline

2. Move to long-term goals

As short-term goals when accumulated can grow to long-term goals, parents should also look at the possibility of their child seeing the areas they can explore for their long-term goals or build new long-term goals. In contrast to short-term goals, long-term goals require longer periods to achieve and the gratification for reaching them may also be delayed. This is why long-term goals may be more fulfilling to achieve. As such, children will also be able to plan for their future and learn to be patient in achieving their goals when setting up their long-term targets. They will also understand the value of determination, perseverance, motivation, and patience in order to achieve their long-term goals.

Examples of long-term goals

Long-term goals take time to achieve. As mentioned, smaller goals help students achieve their long-term goals and will build the foundation for them to go on and work harder for their long-term goals. Long-term goals can be:

  • Get in the top students for the school year
  • Get accepted in the child’s top choices for secondary school
  • Receive good recommendations for college
  • Secure scholarship grants for university

3. Readjust goals when necessary

While advised, it’s not a fool-proof plan to fulfill smaller tasks to reach long-term goals. There can be other outside factors that can hinder the achievement of these goals. While there can also be instances when the child may have a change of heart and shift to different perspectives. When the long-term goal is pushed back, it can get disheartening for the child. This is why goals should also be flexible.

As parents, you need to be part of your child’s journey to reach their goals by helping and assisting them. Take the time to also check if they are having trouble or issues in reaching their goals. Additionally, if the child is having trouble with reaching the goal, parents can help them by adjusting or revising the goal to make it more attainable and reorganize the steps in order to reach it. No matter what approach will be done, it’s always important to consider how the child feels and their progress.

4. Offer encouragements

It’s always nice to hear encouraging words and this will also help children to do better. It not only gives them confidence but also motivates them to do their best and continue to work hard. Helping them stay on track to reach their goals will also teach them to stay committed and continue with their goals. It’s best to help them understand that progress is progress. Help them understand that though their progress may not be drastic, if they continue on, they will still be better than when they first started.


Understandably, parents want to see their children succeed in school and in life. By helping them learn how to set up goals, they can go a long way if they keep in mind their goals. It’s also important to understand which goals will help the child become better and set them to strive harder. This is why it’s important to set goals with the child rather.

Of course, it’s also a good idea to let the child do things they want and only help them when they need assistance. As much as parents want to take care of their children, they should also learn to make their own choices and set their own decisions. As home tuition, we believe that assistance and support from their parents will help the children lead more fulfilling and successful lives in the future.



Carelle is a teacher who has been through the ups and downs of the teacher and learner life. She wishes for every learner to gain educational satisfaction that will help embody the people they want to be in the future.

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