Goal-setting tips for single parents

Single parents need not take a back seat when it comes to raising confident children who’ve set goals and scored successes. Numerous studies cite statistics for underachievement and behavioral problems of children raised by single parents, but today a sitting President of the United States proves single parents can rear highly successful children.

Goals are forward facing steps that provide momentum to meet desired expectations. Scores of people believe in setting goals at the beginning of the New Year, but in truth they set them daily, yet they rarely recognize them as goals. The extent to which you are able to envision the result of a goal indicates the level of success you achieve as you help your children set their goals.

You’ve been setting goals for your children since they were babes.

When a baby learns to walk, you start them with only one step. Once they’ve achieved the immediate goal, you increase the distance by a step so that two steps are realistic. Eventually, with each new step added, they’re able to walk across the room unaided. In teaching them to walk, you’re setting realistic and measurable goals.

The added element in teaching children to walk is that you praise them generously as they complete each step and they’re happy to get up and try again because there is a reward of praise attached. With each new step, they gain confidence and take no notice of the widening gap between parent and child. These are the same steps needed to help your children set goals.

Somewhere along the life path of children, you can lose sight of starting with small attainable goals and the act of increasing the distance in goal setting. And if you cease to measure progress, there is no clear method of monitoring your child’s progress.

Today with the overbearing schedules of single parent and children, it’s easy to lose sight of your vision and what your child can achieve with clear-cut and attainable goals. Yes, you’re busy with important work and large concerns but often the achievement is left for your children to celebrate alone when it would flourish if shared.

Children are amazing; they’re resilient and resourceful even when developing in less than ideal circumstances. You might be the single parent of the child who discovers a new solar system or finds a cure that’s badly needed by the world. How would you know that today? Giving him the support and encouragement is what is needed today.

You can help your child set goals by affirming his talents, guiding his school work, coaching him, and affirming his victories. Each word of praise makes the next forward step more attractive.

Oxford Learning lists ten practical steps for goal setting. Here are five of them here to help you get started.

  • Act now and set goals early
  • Take the time and listen carefully
  • Set goals that are achievable, measurable and believable
  • Set goals that are relevant to your child
  • It’s never too early or too late to set goals

Goals are not always confined to documented steps as we discovered in how a baby learns to walk. Sometimes they’re coached and sometimes they’re driven by a larger vision recognized by a family or perhaps even a cultural group.

Many highly successful people from single-family homes say their homes had a stated mission or creed that the entire family practiced in their homes. It was reinforced throughout their childhood. Family statements of beliefs provide a foundation for taking another step and traveling in the right direction; forward.

Single parents, who commit to living out the stated mission, rear children who follow the tenets of the creed in whatever field they choose and it spurs them on to meet new challenges.

You may be the parent of the next Nobel Prize winner, physicist, actor, chef, or teacher. You can help your child by setting attainable goals, starting with small goals and progressing to attainable life goals. Recognition of his strengths and weaknesses help enlarge his strengths and shore up his weak points as he leaps into life beyond the nest, prepared and confident.