One…two…and kindergarten readiness makes three! “Watch me, watch me,” said the wee voice and I dutifully watched. “I’m going to jump all the way, 1 2 3.” And she did. The task could be anything, but I realized as I cheered on the jumping toddler that what children are doing when they ask us to watch is goal setting. They state what they want to do and do their best to do it.
In this series of blog posts on learning and thinking strategies children show us ways that they are developing important brain connections. Such activities as jumping to a certain place, building a block tower as high as they are, being able to get dressed all by “my very own self” are all age-appropriate ways of setting goals. Kids are deciding what it is they want to accomplish, figuring out the way to do it and then taking that action. Goal setting is a valuable learning and thinking skill.
As parents and caregivers, we can celebrate their success and encourage our kids when needed. We do not always have to agree with the goal as in “Mommy, I’m going to fly off the counter,” or allow such things as jumping off the top bunk into a basket of clean clothes ready to be put away. We can also set goals for kids, such as they get to put all the red things in the toy box and we’ll put away all the green or they can slide down all by themselves and we’ll catch them at the bottom. Supporting kids as they discover and explore setting goals will influence them far beyond kindergarten readiness. In what way will you and your child set some goals today?