When summer finally arrives, your teens are probably longing for a break from school, homework and activities. However, while all kids need time to relax and recharge, setting and achieving goals shouldn’t have an abrupt stop when summer comes around. According to Psychology Today, being goal-oriented is a critical part of how children learn to become resourceful and shape their futures. This is a good enough reason to encourage goal-setting all year, especially during the summer months when there’s more time. Not sure where to begin? Here’s how to get started:
Embrace boredom to encourage creativity. Remember when you felt bored as a child? You probably occupied yourself with a new activity that led you to some amazing creative outlets. With constant technology distractions, many teens today don’t even know what boredom feels like! During the summer, having some “purposeful downtime” is important for your teens to decompress and self-reflect. Encouraging them to unplug from the rest of the world for at least an hour each day will give them an excuse to be creative and formulate personal goals.
Instill accountability. When your teen identifies a new goal, it’s important to hold them accountable to achieving it! For example, do they want to learn photography? Have them research on their own the steps to achieve this goal, such as taking online courses or buying a new camera. Putting your teen in the driver’s seat to do the research will give them the confidence and knowledge they need to move forward with achieving their goal – and get excited about it!
Get it on the calendar. Even with the best intentions, it can be easy to dismiss the importance of some structured planning over the summer. Once your teen establishes a goal, implement an appropriate timeline to keep them focused. For example, if they need to read three books over the summer, mark some key dates on the calendar in which a certain number of pages need to be read. Maintaining an organized calendar is one of the only effective ways to keep your child on track and motivated to stick to their goals.
While you may get some resistance at first, your teens will eventually find the process of setting and reaching goals to be both fun and rewarding. Before you know it, they’ll be setting goals on their own without any help or guidance!