Today, was day two of our "Bootcamp" and we talked about setting and achieving goals.
Kids usually have a multitude of externally set "goals": standards they have to fulfill and things they have to learn for school. If things go well, they get gradually led towards achieving these goals through instruction, homework assignments etc. Eventually, they may master the assigned material and, hence, have reached their goal. Unfortunately, the process towards their achievement usually remains rather obscure to most kids. Plus, they might not stand fully behind their goal anyways because it is not intrinsic to them - it is just what is expected of them at their age. The result? A lot of whining, frustration and temptation of giving up.
Therefore, it does make sense to have kids also set themselves their own individual goals - things they would really love to be able to do. The goals do not have to be big or ambitious. In fact, a goal can be as small as being able to fold a particularly difficult origami structure or as big as mastering a challenging cello concerto. What matters instead is to guide your kids in achieving their goal - splitting it into small feasible steps that eventually lead to the desired outcome. Similar to using a ladder to climb onto a tree - without the ladder it is more difficult and can seem unattainable. The ladder helps you to climb onto the first big branch.
By setting and gradually working towards their own goals, kids acquire an important tool for becoming successful students, adults, and world citizens.