Apr 022014
 
Studying Star Wars

Studying Star Wars (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

If you’re anything like most parents I know your kids are brilliant. That’s great… but that’s not the kind of smart I’m talking about. Have you started to teach them to set goals?

That’s where it pays to be SMART and include all the elements of a well-set goal. SMART goals.

SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely. Let’s look at how those might work at home.

Specific: It would be nice if “I’ll be more responsible” was enough to get the job done, but effective goals need to be worded a bit differently. “I will walk the dog every day without being asked for five days in a row” or “Take out the trash every day after dinner” are clear and specific.

Measurable: You may want to substitute the term “observable.” How will you know the goal has been reached? What difference will you see when the goal has been reached?

Achievable: Let’s look at grades for this example. “Get an ‘A’ in Social Studies may not be achievable, simply because someone else actually gives the grades. Change the focus to factors completely under the student’s control. “All of my papers will be submitted on time, neatly typed, free from spelling errors and meeting or exceeding requirements for length and content.”

Realistic: What resources are available to meet the goal? Lots of people dream of a career in pro sports, but few of us have the required talent.

Timely: Whether it’s a deadline (“by next Thursday…”) or a time period (“once a month for a year”) adding “time” helps make wishes come true!

Setting and achieving goals contributes to a sense of mastery, competence and personal satisfaction. Who wouldn’t want SMART kids???

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  8 Responses to “Are Your Kids SMART?”

  1. Never thought of applying SMART goals to kids. What a great idea! Love the context within which you used this tool.

  2. How brilliant to teach our kids about this concept! Like Deanna, I’ve followed it for years but never thought about offering it as a learning tool for younger audiences. Thanks so much!

    • Thanks, Sheila. You comment reminds me why we felt it was so important to write What Kids Need to Succeed…It’s easy to forget about things we had to learn “the hard way” or “later in life.” We can spare our kids a lot of false starts if they grow up with some of these tools in their tool belts. I appreciate you taking time from your day to comment… makes me want to go write another post!

  3. Andrea, thanks for sharing such an important tool! The SMART process is a powerful self-empowerment and success tool that they will take with them into their journey as an adult! Thanks for sharing!

    • I agree…. and ‘teaching’ it doesn’t have to be a big deal. Parents can start by introducing the idea of goal-setting v. ‘wishing’ and asking a few questions. Thanks for your comment support. I appreciate you!

  4. I have used this SMART for myself, but not my kids. Thank you for bringing this to my attention. 🙂

    • I think there are lots of tools adults rely on (and almost take for granted) that can be informally introduced while our kids are still at home. Thanks for taking the time to comment ~ much appreciated!

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