Today I had the first parent-teacher conference for my son. Most folks know that my son is a highly sensitive child. Transitions have always been challenging, and new situations, especially with new children and/or in new/loud/busy places, can send him into immediate, explosive tears. I’ve been on pins and needles the past 2 months since he started at the new school, but aside from a few meltdowns, he’s weathered the transition fairly well. I’m SO proud of him!
From the conference, I learned that he is doing really well in school – both academically and socially. The latter was honestly my main concern. I have no question he loves school and doing the work, but is he happy there? Does he have new friends? Does he raise his hand in class? I was assured the answer was “yes” to all three. Now, the point of this conference was to also set some individual goals. I know the benefits of teaching children goal setting early on, and yet, I have to confess: this is not something that comes easily to me. I’m an on-the-fly, see-the-mountain-decide-to-climb-it-right-then-and-there kind of gal, so I’ve been struggling with how to teach long-term, concrete goal-setting to my child.
I’ve tried to help him choose realistic and attainable goals that were still somewhat challenging. We also took a page from the Positive Habits activity on the Fishful Thinking site and talked about things that he wasn’t able to do in Kindergarten that he can do now, and what he would like to be able to do at the end of first grade. I know some folks use a reward system for goals, but I’m trying to help him learn that with goals, the reward is the act of accomplishment itself. I think he responds to that more and it helps him actually understand the purpose of working toward a goal.
We’ll see how it goes! Does anyone have any goal setting tips or stories to share? I’d love to hear them!
Disclosure: I am a Faculty Mom for the Goldfish (R) Fishful Thinking ™ program and may receive payment incentives for my involvement. That said, every word written on this post comes straight from my life, my heart, my experiences and I work with the program because I am a strong advocate for positive parenting in general, and I’ve seen what a positive impact elements of Fishful Thinking has had on my own family.