Set some school year resolutions with your kids this fall.
We’re pulling from the idea of a new year’s resolutions and exploring a concept even more productive and timely to this season. This year, consider helping your kids set school year resolutions.
Host of the online community Middle Moms, Jessi Berger, shares her goal setting formula for families. Take advantage of the fall fresh start and set some school year goals. It’s a smart way to help kids become better organized and start things off with their best foot forward.
Find more advice from Jessi on Instagram, @middle.moms.
How to Set School Year Resolutions
First, it’s important for our kids to know that it’s okay for things to change at the start of a school year.
Changing is totally natural for this time in life because it’s a time of exploration and discovery and growth.
And change can come in so many different ways:
- New classes with new people means new friends
Help them figure out their priorities and lean into them.
This has two parts. You find out their priorities by 1. asking questions and then 2. listening to their answers.
Ask them questions:
- What are you excited about this upcoming year?
- What are you nervous about?
- What classes have you loved/hated in the past?
- Are you excited for upcoming dances?
- Are you interested in going to the football game/volleyball game/etc?
Listening to the answers:
- If they can’t wait for lunch but have no idea what classes they signed up for it might help you see that their social life is a higher priority to them than school work.
- If they can tell you every class, teacher and about all the required summer homework then they probably value learning.
- If they can’t stop talking about the Homecoming dance maybe they are at that age where they are beginning to get romantic feelings for someone. Or maybe they just like to dance.
Once you can see what’s important to your kids you can help them think of goals built around those things.
Help them find balance
It’s so common for teenagers to go all in on the things they love, but it’s important for us parents to give them some balance.
This might look like:
- Or maybe you have a very artsy child who only loves to draw and paint, but you might be able to help them find a dance or yoga class that shows self expression in a different way.
- Maybe they only love sports but you can introduce them to chemistry or woodworking or some other interesting hobby.
- I have a daughter that was feeling so much internal pressure to take a bunch of hard classes but we helped convince her to take some easier classes that just looked interesting to her to help balance her schedule.
- It’s not because you want to change them, it’s because you want to help them expand their interests and round out their personalities.
Use your resources to support their goals
Throw in your support. As a parent you have a lot of resources that your kids may not have- two big ones are time and money. Use some of those resources to support your kid’s goal.
- My daughter took an AP Physics class last year and it was brutal. She wanted to form a study group with some friends so they could do their homework together. We, as parents, said to her “Our house is always open for study group. Come over whenever. And we’ll provide treats.” Opening our home to them was a small way that we could support her overall goal of doing well in the class.
- When I was a teenager I had a group of friends that I loved that lived 20 minutes away from me and I didn’t have a license. My parents used to drive me to my friend’s houses and picked me up for an entire year before I got my license. I didn’t realize what a sacrifice that was back then but I do now and I am grateful for that support.
Remember to celebrate their successes.
And not just a final success, but all the little ones along the way. At our house we call it taking a victory lap. When we see ways they’ve done well we try to make sure we call attention to it.
- My daughter wanted to try out for a dance team last year. So the first thing we celebrated was that she was brave enough to even try. It’s scary to put yourself out there. Then we complimented the extra effort she put into practicing the choreography not just at dance, but at home too. We wanted her to know that we were proud of that extra work and effort. We praised her positive attitude all along the way. Luckily, she made the team. But if she hadn’t I’d hope she still could have felt successful in all the little improvements she made along the way. At the end of the day she was a better version of herself for all the efforts no matter the outcome.