Helping Your Teen Set Goals

Posted by Gena Sayers on July 16, 2015

The teenage years are full of angst, stress, hormones, rebellion, and the ever so tricky task of trying to fit in with everyone else while finding one’s own identity. Through all the trouble and stress that tends to plague the teenage years, we may forget they are about to become adults. Setting goals early in the teenage years may help offset some of the stress traditionally associated with these tumultuous years.

Dreams and goals are important at every age, but the teenage years can yield some pretty awesome results with the right planning in place. Learning how to set goals and how to work toward achieving those goals is a valuable skill teens will use well into adulthood. Goal setting skills will give your teen the ability to change the circumstances he or she is facing and increase self worth. Supporting you teens dreams and encouraging him or her to achieve their goals will give them the confidence they need to keep dreaming and keeping working towards their goals.

First, in order to help your teen set goals, they must understand what a goal is. A goal is something that is personally important, within their power to make happen, something he or she has a reasonable chance of obtaining, clearly defined, and attached to a plan of action. Once your teenager understands what a goal is, it is then up to you to help them work through setting their first goals.

You can help your teenager by identifying a goal and defining it in clear terms. One example could involve raising money for their own vehicle. Instead of just saying "I will get a car," you can help your teen by rewording the goal to more manageable terms. "I will get a part time job and save my money for a car."

Have your teen write down the goal and place it someplace that it can be easily and frequently seen. A frequent reminder of our goals helps to drive us forth in achieving them. Write out a list of steps your teen will need to take in order to pursue the goal in mind. For instance, steps for the above goal could include locating businesses willing to hire teens, filling out applications, attending interviews, showing up to the job on time and ready for work, opening a savings account with the first pay check, and so on. It may also be helpful in this particular scenario to identify exactly how much would need to be saved.

Remember that goals are not set in stone, and if your teen loses interest in the first goal they set, they can always set other goals. Remain positive, reminding your teen that some things take time and to not let others hold them back from achieving their dreams and goals. Most importantly, believe in your teenager. Your love, support, and praise for accomplishments will fuel him or her forth with their dreams.