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Kids and Goals

Can kids change?
Can they make changes with intent?
Are kids able to understand that to make changes, they will have to put forth effort? 

To some degree, it depends on their age. It also depends on where the desire to change is coming from. As with anyone, if it is something that *they* want, the chance of success will be much greater. 

Last week we discussed that resolutions are not wishes, but rather the basis of a plan. Draw this out further, and encourage your child to think of something they would like to change, improve on, or accomplish, and then assist them in developing a plan.

If your child is small, you can introduce the idea of 'new year resolutions' by choosing something for them...and explaining it to them in very simple terms.
  • Instead of 'this year you are going to be in charge of putting away your toys when you are done playing', simply start helping them to do this...each and every time. 
  • Model the behavior, and remind them to help. 
  • Give them guidance, even if it would be faster to do it yourself.

If your child is slightly older, create a plan with them:
Reasons for Plan
  • You like having toys to play with. 
  • Toys need to be put away so that the pieces do not get broken or lost. 
  • These are your toys, and you need to help be responsible for them. 
  • When we finish playing with a toy, we need to put it away. 
  • I will help you, as long as you helping too.
  • When we clean up, we will have space to play more, and our toys will be ready when we want to play with them again. 

For a school age child, you can explain the tradition of resolutions, and encourage them to participate. You can also share what your plan for the upcoming year is, so that they can see that we are all a work in progress. 

Ask them questions, so that they can create a plan:
  • What do you want to happen? They may come up with a series of ideas...encourage them to choose a single one. 
  • Why do you want to do this? This will help them to identify a connection with the plan. 
  • How can you make this happen? By breaking a resolution into small, manageable steps, you increase the likelihood of it becoming reality. 
Ask your child how you can help. Be supportive, in the way that they invite you to participate

Whatever your goals for the new year, as an individual, couple or family, I will help you create a plan. I look forward to hearing from you, at debhurowitz@yahoo.com, or in the comments below. You can also learn more about life coaching and support for individuals, couples, children and families at http://www.mommybutstillme.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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