We had a wonderful holiday season at our house. We tried to balance excitement with a fair dose of recovery time. I believe that this conscious attempt at balance, is the reason it was easier to return to school after vacation. Because we talked about the “New Year”, there was some confusion and apparently my TBP expected to meet his third grade teacher after break. I explained that students had the luxury of two beginnings…one in September and one in January.
Along with many of you, I reflected on goals and changes that I wanted to make in my life. My reflection led to me thinking of ways that I could coach my son to think about his own goals. These discussions turned into mostly me talking AT him instead of WITH him. Desperate to get me to stop, he answered with mostly shrugging shoulders and “I don’t know.”
This made me wonder….
How do I teach my son to set goals?
Isn’t it important for him to be reflective?
Can I help him to be self-motivated in order to achieve those goals?
Is it too much to expect from him now? If so, when do I start?
I know from being a teacher (and a parent) that I can never underestimate the power of modeling. I find myself talking outloud while problem-solving and hoping that my son sees this practice done by the adults around him. We have ongoing discussions (that can border on lectures) about responsibility and trying our best. He doesn’t yet understand the importance of overcoming challenges and developing a work ethic that will allow for success.
When I picked my TBP up from school, I saw his writing assignment that was about resolutions. Perfect timing!
We are learning about New Year’s resolutions. I have decided to make a few.
First, I will listen to the teacher. Second, I will play kind at recess. Third, I will be kind everyday.
Do you have any resoluions? I would love to hear about them.
If you have followed my blog, you know that these were not as obvious as you might think. The fact that he knows that these practices are important…priceless!
Reminds me of a phrase I recently heard…”hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard.” In other words, there will always be someone else working hard. Our “gifted-ness” isn’t enough – we must find that self-motivation to succeed in life.
Yes, the motivation is important. Being resilient, responsible & reflective are traits I hope to help him develop!
Thanks for stopping by and hope you visit again!
I think the simple method is key with kids. They need to talk it through to figure out a vision. I’m sure you do this on some level with your students.
It seems to be harder with my own 🙂
I hear you.
What I love most about this article…besides the great growth your son is experiencing…is the emphasis you had placed on the concept of modeling. Extremely important. The most powerful conveyor of a principle is through the demonstration of it by living it. Children are very observant…and even if they never learn anything else…they are keen observers of cause and effect. They spot contradictions…words vs. actions…Actions being the tell all and be all of reality.
Also the talking through of the thought process involved in your decision making will be key in your son’s thought structure in the future.
Yes- modeling works…especially when I’m not talking to his back while he is working on the computer 😉
My son is showing maturity and self-reflection now so much more than even this fall. I hesitate to say this out loud since I have jinxed myself before 😉
I’m a huge fan of modeling, and coupled with having this conversation with your son, I think you’re doing an exceptional job in instilling self-motivation.
Wow! Thank you so much! I really appreciate the support and hope that you visit again! 🙂