Hudson Valley Parent

HVP January 2020

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20 Hudson Valley Parent n January 2020 Setting goals for younger children. Deciding on a specific goal for your child can originate from either your child's mind or yours. Typically, younger kids need more guidance with selecting goals than their older counterparts do. In the case of my 5-year-old daughter, Sophia, after her kinder- garten parent-teacher conference this year, she agreed to set a goal of advancing at least one reading level by the end of the school year's second trimester. Sophia came into the school year with solid literacy skills for an entering kindergartener, yet she did not advance a reading level from September to the end of November. Aware that such a goal would not be one that Sophia would think to set for herself at her young age, I By JILL VALENTINO W ith a new year rapid- ly approaching, this month many folks will be deciding where they can make improvements in their lives. The results of this thought process often end up becoming New Year's resolutions. New Year's resolutions are not solely adult creations; chil- dren make them as well. However, if it's been shown that 80 percent of adult resolutions tend to fail by mid-February, it would make sense to figure that for children to achieve long-term goals, they would most likely benefit from some assistance. Have grit, will succeed. It's beneficial to teach goalsetting and the achievement of personal aims during childhood because both give children the knowledge and tools they need to get what they desire from life early on. Kids kids start to understand at a young age the con- cept of taking responsibility for their actions, learning, and behaviors. Additionally, being taught to set and achieve personal goals helps kids develop what educational re- searcher Dr. Angela Lee Duckworth of the University of Pennsylvania refers to as 'grit,' that is, a passion and perseverance toward long-term goals, an oft-essential ingredient for a person's future success. Along with tenacity and perse- verance, possessing grit is necessary for most adults to prosper in today's complex world. By setting goals and learning to work to meet them, kids learn to make commitments and stay with them, which often leads to ac- complishment, mastery, and success. discussed setting this goal with her, paired with the promise that we would work toward this achieve- ment together and after a brief, gentle, discussion, Sophia embraced the idea wholeheartedly. For the past few weeks, Sophia has done well fulfilling her end of the goal bargain, too. She has read aloud at least two books per day at her instructional reading level along with additional reading either with her father or me at her bedtime. If she keeps this up, next time she is tested, I am confident that she'll be ready to move up a level. Setting goals for older chil- dren. Goals for older children are often articulated by the child, but sometimes can be communicated in- directly in the form of a problem an adult is asked to solve. However, in the spirit of developing a child's grit, instead of trying to fix every prob- lem children bring to our attention, parents should help them set goals that allow them to help themselves. By listening to her child and fram- ing problems as obstacles that can be overcome, Jessica Carola of Fishkill is giving her daughter the tools to develop the grit she will need to at- tain success as she gets older. When Carola's daughter was in first and second grade, she struggled with academics. Carola worked with her to establish new study habits and a different homework schedule to increase her academic success. Carola also helped her daughter stick to their new plan, as changes in routine can be hard for children to adapt to on their own. Carola's daughter's new routine included starting to study for tests earlier than Help kids achieve their goals Show your kids how to develop grit to push past frustrations Jennifer Colucci of Hopewell Junction helped her daughter, left, and her daughter's best friend create a camp to benefit charity. The girls and Collucci planned and ran the camp, which had more than 20 participants.

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