Mike Zagame, Guidance Counselor
Goals help children focus on what's important and what's not. When children are goal-orientated, they are more likely to say "no" to irresponsible behaviors because they are saying "yes" to their vision of the future.Middle school children can set goals for school work, getting along with others, sports, musical interests, leisure activities or anything else they want to improve.
►Parents Can Teach Goal Setting:
Take these steps to help your child set goals and achieve them! At the beginning of the week, help your child identify one goal. It might be turning in a book report on time. It may be getting 85 percent correct on a math test. Have your child write the goals on a piece of paper and post it on the refrigerator or bulletin board. Talk about how to accomplish the goal. Help your child break the goal down into smaller steps. For example, "You could read two chapters every day. Then you can sped a day writing your report and another day revising it".
As the week progresses, ask how things are going. If problems come up, talk about possible solutions, If your child falls behind in reading, for example, a 10 minutes extension of bedtime might help her catch up. At the end of the week, help your child evaluate how well he/she did. Did he/she achieve his/her goals? Why or why not?? Most importantly, praise your child for trying. Then set new goals for the next week.