As the new school year starts, starting on a right foot can be beneficial for the family. Children may feel anxious with added workloads, new environments, new classmates, new teachers or simply stressed up about changes. But there is also plenty to look forward to, to learn, to improve and to right wrongs.
Drawing inspiration from the Parenting with MOE page which suggests using a “pizza” to set goals, we decided to embark on new goals for the year.
Setting Goals with a “Pizza”
First, draw a “pizza” with slices. Then label each slice according to a category: schoolwork, skill, health, family etc. Ours were labelled: faith, school, home, hobby, family, friends.
Depending on the age of your child, you could encourage him or her to write or draw goals for each category. Prompting with questions like “What would you like to learn in 2021?”, “What would you like to improve?” would help frame the child’s thought. Do give some space and time for the child to think, these goals need to come autonomously.
Goals such as improving on tidiness, learning a new sport like swimming or developing a disposition like caring for others can be written or drawn on each of the slice. This helps both parent and child do a self-examination, take stock of the growth through the year and then reflect mid-year and end of the year to see if the goals are feasible.
Reflections as a Parent on Setting Goals
Goal-setting exercises are always helpful, and the exercise can also be done as an adult. Penning down goals mean a certain level of commitment to the goals and usually effort put into working towards them.
As a parent, we often neglect certain spheres of our own lives when the children take up large proportions of our time and energy. Hence, the pizza slices help us to take a helicopter view of our priorities – not just on the home front or at work but in all aspects.
Similarly, this gives our children the chance to develop a goal-setting mindset. It keeps them focused on certain tasks and makes them work towards something with accountability. Writing it down and pinning it on a prominent spot also helps the family to work towards the goal together.
When my child wrote “care for others more”, I know it is also my responsibility to guide him in this area he wishes to work on. Finding volunteer opportunities, being more aware of the needs of others are some ways we can help each other. It becomes a shared purpose and a common goal that doesn’t just belong to one individual.
Setting Goals with Your Child
Helping the child set goals is an important, reflective and fruitful task. It requires thought, commitment and an eagerness to progress, not just for the child but as a family. Happy setting goals, it will be a beneficial and meaningful time drawing your pizzas!