When should you start setting your child goals?

Setting yourself objectives and understanding that there are rewards when you achieve them, is an important part of growing up. The question is when should you start teaching your child about them.

Sometimes you have to achieve those objectives before someone else manages to. Life is competitive, whether it is at school, or on the football field, or even amongst siblings, so achieving is a vital skill to learn for a young child.

You should start setting your child goals, as soon as she is able to understand the concept of rewards, which is usually once she starts to walk. You can start with little objectives such as eating all her food at supper earns her a nice yoghurt as dessert. Or if she puts all her toys away at the end of each day, she will get an extra five minutes in the bath.

A lot of these initial ones are instinctive for your child, such as walking across the room to get the toy. And it is your role to explain to your child why the reward comes after the effort. This is very relevant as the objectives become more challenging.

As she grows a little older, you will need to make sure that the goals you set her and that she sets herself, are actually achievable. This is very important, as she needs to feel a good sense of achievement, which will give her the confidence in her own ability. She will learn that reaching goals produces benefits, and this will set her up for life.

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