MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Adults are not the only ones who can goal set. It is helpful for kids too.
We are nearly a month into the new year, and while many have already planned out their new year’s resolutions, we can not forget about our kids
ABC24 spoke with Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital Division Chief of Outpatient Pediatrics, Jason Yaun, about what you can do to help your child take control of their health, in all aspects.
He said this is a great time to lead by example and show your child how to create their own routines and figure out what works best for their life.
It would also be a great opportunity for transparency to happen.
So talking to them about the new year and the goals you have set for yourself is a great start. It will show them that working on yourself does not ever stop.
However, do not make it all about business. Yaun said you should make it fun and make sure it is age and developmentally-appropriate.
“Talking about the new year and saying, “I’ve created some goals for myself this year. I think it’d be a really great idea to do that as a family,” Yaun said.
This is really going to take teamwork, but without you actually taking control.
“Charts or small rewards or things like that. Maybe if it’s a competition if it’s an older child…and making sure that they know that,” Yaun said.
Also talking to kids between ages 7-12 years old is the ideal age for them to learn about making their own goals.
“For a younger child it may look like, ‘Hey I’m going to let my parents help me brush my teeth twice a day.’ Or a middle school child it may be that, ‘I’m going to try a new vegetable this year.’ And for an older child, it may revolve around driver safety,’” Yaun explained.
He added that it is best to suggest resolutions rather than dictate. This will create a sense of independence and give them responsibility for their path.
“Really focusing on the positives and how can we help create these healthy life-long habits and focusing on that rather than anything else, so we have a positive view of ourselves and our health and our bodies…that’s how we want to think about that with children and help them achieve those goals,” Yaun said.
Some other ways you can help your child with creating goals is to help them clarify their goals, so ask them questions like, “What do you want for yourself?”
You can also suggest categories for their goals to help them organize their thoughts, whether that be personal goals, friendship goals, academic goals, etc.