How To Teach Kids To Set Goals

Raising a child is maybe the hardest thing a person can do. Each kid will have different needs, there is no rule book, and life won’t wait for a parent to catch up. But there is nothing more satisfying than nurturing your child into a card carrying, responsible adult. Part of doing that involves teaching kids how to set and reach goals. Here at Rebounderz, our Grand Rapids trampoline parks work as a great motivator, and our team sports also help kids practice reaching their goals. Here, we’d like to go over how to teach your kids to effectively set and reach their goals.


SMART is a great acronym for learning how to effectively set goals, and maintain a reasonable plan for meeting them. It stands for Specific, Measurable, Adjustable, Realistic, and Timely. To illustrate how it can help your kid learn how to meet their goals, let’s look at an example; maybe your kid says “I want to be better at basketball”. A lofty goal, but on its own is very vague and somewhat abstract. Translated into SMART language, the goal might be changed to “I will practice for one hour four days a week on free throws and ball handling, and spend two hours a week watching professionals play”. This has the same effect as the former goal, but sets a realistic, measurable expectation for how to meet it as well.

Record Progress

We are all familiar with the concept of writing things down to remember them better, and that can be applied to help kids achieve their goals. Not only do they get the extra benefit of keeping the goal more present in their mind, but recording progress is a great way to set micro goals, increase satisfaction with the work already put towards a goal, and adjust strategy to meet a goal.

Set Active, Not Passive Goals

Eliminate the verb “to be” in all its forms from your kid’s goal vocabulary. Goals aren’t met by essence, but by action! Using our first example, change “I want to be a better basketball player” to “I want to improve my free throw.” Not only will the latter result in the former, but it’s a much more manageable and straight forward goal.

Be A Good Role Model

Kids are information sponges, and they learn everything by watching others. All of the best practices in the world won’t help them achieve their goals if the people they imitate don’t set an example of how to use them. Not only will your example help them understand these goal setting tips, but it will be a great motivational factor as well!


Another great way to motivate kids is setting an appropriate reward for working towards a goal. Here at Rebounderz, we think there’s no better motivation than a fun day at our Grand Rapids trampoline park. We’ve also got fun trampoline versions of basketball and dodge ball, where your kids can learn the value of achieving goals in a team setting. Give us a call today to learn more about all the fun activities we offer here at Rebounderz!

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