Teaching Kids S.M.A.R.T. Goals

It's (finally!) 2022. We're all a week into our New Year's Resolutions, and your little ones may be showing an interest in this adult tradition. It's not too late to include them in the fun, while also setting them up for future success.

Unfortunately, resolutions have become a "make 'em and break 'em" habit for a lot of adults. You can help your kids avoid this endless cycle by teaching them S.M.A.R.T. goals. 

S.M.A.R.T. is an acronym for the attributes every goal should have to be achievable: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Based. 

Here are some examples of ways you can help your kids turn their resolutions into smart ones. (Spoilers! These goals will help out Mom and Dad, too!)

I resolve to .... 

1. Be Adventurous! 

Kids can resolve to try the new foods their parents make them! I know, I know, but hear me out. If you make this goal specific, then trying new food can be more of an adventure than a scary challenge. Your kid can resolve to try each new food once. Any more times is completely up to them! This resolution will help your kids learn that new food can be exciting, too.   

You can help them make it even easier to stick to the plan by adding an incentive. For example, for every seven new things they try, they get to choose the next dessert. Use shiny stickers to help them keep track!

2. Be Helpful!  

For this goal, you can make or buy a superhero cape. Every time Mom or Dad asks for help with a chore, your kids get to swoop to the rescue in fashion! To make the goal measurable, give them a star sticker every time they help. They can then trade in 20 stars to buy a new part of their hero ensemble! 

3. Be Loving! 

This one is easy! Your kids can resolve to give someone a hug every day, which is very achievable if you include Mom and Dad. Bonus points if you teach them about love languages, and they practice showing love to others in the way they best receive it.   

4. Be Fun! 

Odds are, your kids have a few new toys from Christmas. You can boost their fun with a relevant goal. Your kids can resolve to give a different toy a play date every day. By focusing on a different toy each day, your kids should also learn to appreciate what they own, whether it's shiny and new or treasured and old.   

5. Be a Mermaid! 

Sometimes kids make goals that are out of this world! But you can even make these kinds of goals smart. If your kid wants to be a mermaid, you can help them create a time-based resolution. For every ten chores they complete, the family gets a beach day where they can be a mermaid to their heart's content! This goal can be tailored to any supernatural creature your kid loves.  

By helping your kid develop SMART resolutions, you are teaching them valuable life skills that will make all of their new years bright!  

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