Deciding just what children’s daily goals should be to help them learn and develop or what can realistically be expected of them around the house is tough.
When we took steps to setting goals for our children, my first thought was to concentrate on “their things”, i.e., homework, dressing, putting away their toys, etc. I was very reluctant to include general household activities such as washing up or taking the rubbish out. I suppose my thinking was, ‘poor sweethearts shouldn’t have to clean or do housework’ and “they’ll be time enough for them to learn how to take responsibility for things when they’re older’. Having allowed myself these thoughts however, I then thought again. Our kids will have to do these things in the future – just like everyone else in the world – and unless we teach them, who will?
Children have roles and responsibilities in the family just like Mum and Dad. It’s important that they learn how they fit in and that they understand what is expected of them within those roles.
Yes they should have time to play and have fun, it’s important that they have a childhood. Equally important for every childhood however, is that children begin to learn how to survive as responsible adults. The home as a loving, forgiving, supportive environment is the ideal place to do this before they need to face the world and fend for themselves.
We have a list of “Daily Goals” we’re using to introduce them to help them develop new life skills and teach them to take responsibility for things.
If you choose this route, it’s important to keep your children’s goals relevant to skills they need to improve or activities you feel are appropriate for them.
They’ll also need rewards that are age appropriate and relevant for their particular personal likes, dislikes and desires (or goals).
It was tough coming up with the list. But I swallowed my reluctance and dived in, only to be surprised at just how capable they could be with very little instruction.
To help out, below you can see what we currently have on our own fridge at home for our 6 and 7 year olds.
- Wash, brush teeth, comb hair and dress/undress alone, make bed
- Complete school work
- Daily household activities: dusting, empty dishwasher, take rubbish out
- Clear the table after meals
- Put away at the end of the day
- Take time out: reading or listening to audio-book
- Hang the towel on the rail in the bathroom
- Place dirty clothes under the sink in the bathroom, reusable clothes fold on the cupboard
- Remember manners at the dinner table
- Be NICE and stay positive
It’s important to remember that goal setting for children can’t be static. We take a look at it every couple of weeks at our family meetings to decide if things are going well, what still needs work and whether there are other things that need to go on the list. The point is I suppose, the list needs to be flexible, to change as your children change.
What daily goals do your children have? Are you using them to teach your child essential life stuff? We’d like to hear from you in the comment or on a CANDo email.