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Can Children Set Their Own Goals?

Setting Goals for your childCan children set their own goals?  The answer is of course YES!

Parent’s around Australia would be receiving their child’s school reports. However, what surprised me was the comments parent’s were making in regards to areas that needed improvement.  I heard parent’s say “of course my child isn’t organised…….doesn’t the teacher know my child has Autism” and lots of other comments.


Do parent’s not see these areas for our children to grow?  If parent’s see them as negative are we giving our children the message that they can not grow?

When I spoke with my daughter’s Grade 1 teacher, she showed us a notice board full of posted notes.   The teacher helps each child to set their own goals to work on for the term.  One of the main goals that Emma recognised within herself is that she needed to put up her hand more.  Therefore, Emma had to not only overcome her anxiety but have self confidence within herself that she did have an answer.

How to set up goals with your child?

Each term we sit with the girls and talk about what they want to work on each term.  We do not make suggestions as we want them to come up with the ideas.  We find that the smaller the goal is the better.  By having it small, they can achieve it simply and lots of times.  Having your child feel a sense of achievement improves their success rate in life and improves their self esteem.

Goals are important for adults as well as children and you will be amazed on what children can come up with.  As parent’s we just need to guide them to make sure they are positive goals.



How to Survive the Dreaded School Report

Do you remember the days when you got your school reports?  I remember our school used to post them out (I guess they woke up that students may not have passed on those dreaded school reports to parents) and we used to watch the mail like hawks.  Then when they were handed to our parents, we used to go hide with sweat dripping down our face, until we heard our names being called.  I loved the reports that were clear that the teacher had no idea who I was and got me in trouble.

Now that I am a mum, with two girls with ASD, I am now in my parents position of reading their reports.  I have been thinking a lot about my own expectations which could be placing unnecessary pressure on the girls.  Have you ever thought what your expectations are?

Strategies which will help you to survive the dreaded school report are

  1. Be aware if your expectations and where these expectations originate from.  Be aware that you have made up these expectations and that you can change them.  You do not need to put your expectations onto your child.
  2. Replace the phrase “try your best” with “do your best” because we want your child to actually do the action.
  3. Always look for your child’s strengths.  We tend to focus on the weaknesses as they are the areas that our child needs help with.  However as an adult we focus on our weaknesses, we focus on our strengths.  By focusing on the strength areas, you may find different ways to improve the areas that they need help with. We also have to think outside the box.
  4. Do not compare your child to other children and their reports.  This is one thing I hate seeing in the playground. Parents comparing their child to other children.  Every child is different.
  5. Celebrate the small things rather than looking at the whole picture.  Think about where they were at the start of the year and celebrate the achievements big or small to get them to where they are now.
  6. Always remember that we don’t need those reports in later life.