I recently read an article in one of my husband’s farm publications. It expressed the importance of setting goals and having a strategic plan for a farm each year.
It was easy to transfer that train of thought to raising children.
I”m not sure if it was after my fourth or fifth child that I read a book that emphasized the importance of setting year long goals for toddlers and preschoolers. I had never thought about that before.
Setting goals for a whole year seemed impossible. I rarely met my goal of keeping my house clean according to my weekly schedule, much less a year long list of goals. It felt overwhelming to even think about it.
Then, while discussing the whole idea of setting goals for my children, with my mom, she encouraged me to take baby steps. The conversation took place on Memorial Day weekend. We decided that I could set goals just for the summer. She helped me make a list of one goal for each of my children, and one for me. I hoped to meet the goals by Labor Day weekend.
It worked. I wasn’t stressed because I had set easy goals, and I knew that I had a reasonable amount of time to succeed.
Success. It felt wonderful and spurred me on!
I decided to do the same thing for the period between Labor Day and Christmas, and then New Years Day until Memorial Day.
Years later, I still use the same system.
Here are some of my goals for my toddlers and preschoolers:
Working on a specific godly character trait like diligence, or compassion, (or over 40 other traits that I compiled).
Learn to put toys away when they are finished playing with them
Help me to set the table and load and unload the dishwasher
Learn to brush their teeth and comb their hair
Learn to print their name
Learn to get dressed and tie their shoe laces
Learn to use polite words like Please and Thank you and Excuse me.
Learn colors and letter sounds
Memorize Bible verses
Learn to catch a ball
Learn to cut very well with safety scissors
Learn to sit and play quietly for up to an hour a day
My goal that first year was to paint my dining room
I’d love to read your ideas of attainable goals for your young children!
Photo of my granddaughter LOVING her time on the potty 🙂