Ministry Resources

Helping Your Kids Set Goals

Author: The Journey Online Team

Suggested Goals

The following are ten suggested goals with some explanation for each that can be used in the development of your children’s lives.

I urge you to read this section on suggested parental goals carefully. Upon completion, locate piece a of paper and put the following title at the top

— Ten Goals I Have Chosen for My Child —

Under this title list ten things you want to work on to build into the life of your child.

Goal #1 — Positive Self-Image

Set the goal to build into your child a positive self-image. Knowing that you are of worth does not mean you are perfect or that you are better than others. It simply means that you recognize that you are a child of God and that your life has importance.

Kid’s and teens need to understand about self-worth as they grow up and mature. Early on, we as parents and teachers must, by word and action tell our children that they have worth and keep telling them over and again. Children derive their attitudes about self-worth from what we say about them and how we act toward them.

The words that come from our mouths and the actions resulting from our behaviors must be positive and nurturing. Encourage your children at every opportunity so that they grow to have a positive self-image.

Goal #2 — Sense of Independence

If your children are to become good parents, good spouses, good friends, and good people they need to be independent of you. This of course does not mean that you don’t or won’t help them. You want them to come back for guidance, love and advice if they ever need these things, but you also want them to be there own person.

Goal #3 — Sense of Dependence

Another goal a parent needs to set for their children is that they must learn to be dependent upon God.

Kid’s and teens must understand early on that into every life, sooner or later, will come situations so overpowering that only God can give solutions. These kinds of problems surface and look like finances, health, spouse, children, family, and even work to name a few.

If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success. – Proverbs 34-6

The best way for a child to learn the lesson of dependence is to see his or her parents model this truth.

Goal #4 — Responsibility for Actions and Consequences

The acceptance of responsibility for one’s actions is the hallmark of good character. In life, you reap what you sow and the best thing for a parent and teacher to model for their children is responsible behavior. No excuses allowed – ever!

No child is going to go through life without their share of problems, mistakes, sins and blunders. The solution is not found in denial, but in the acceptance of responsibility for their behavior. At the time of the event, the lessons are hard and sometimes painful, however insisting on it with help build a young man or woman of character.

Goal #5 — Recognize and Embrace Their Potential

A necessary condition of parental and teaching employment is to give your children an awareness of their potential.

Kid’s and teens are full of potential and it is of extreme importance that we help them to realize that. An understanding of their potential and ability is only part of the job. They need to be thankful and thoughtful and be willing to exert the necessary self-discipline to develop and grow their abilities and opportunities.

Tell your children that they have potential, that they can finish a task, that they have unique gifts just waiting to be uncovered and explored. They need to hear this from you because it is the truth.

Potential is not to be wasted or squandered. It is to be nurtured and encouraged. Tell your children continuously that they can. Why, because they can!

Goal #6 — Use Their Ability

Encourage your children to try many things to explore numerous options, to learn what they can do, to find what they love, and to concentrate on doing their best – always!

Goal #7 — Hope

Children need to learn that there is always hope. Winners do not quit, they carry on in spite of obstacles because of their belief in themselves and their hope for a better future!

Hopelessness is demoralizing, empty, and lonely. It is one of the worst diseases one can be inflicted with. It can take even the most gifted individual and make them frustrated, frightened, and unproductive.

The best chance for a productive and prosperous future is to give your children an understanding of hope. Goal-oriented people are those who learn to live in hope because they are always moving toward an objective.

Goal #8 — Happiness

We all want happiness for our children. Happiness however is not to be confused with the absence of problems and struggles.

Encourage your children to discover what they like to and can do, and then to do it. In the process of discovering what we can do, we work our way through many difficulties in life. Even when your children find out what they like and can do, they will still have to deal with problems and sacrifices.

Teach your children that in life they shouldn’t try to find a place where problems do not exist, but rather to turn those problems into opportunities. Look back on your own life, the greatest periods of growth have come as a direct result of problems solved and new insights gained.

Goal #9 — Good Character

It is important to teach children that having character is more important than being a character. There is no higher praise someone can give your child than to say they have good character.

This quality is essential to achieving personal success and fulfillment in life. Everything and that means EVERYTHING we do and say ultimately arises from and reveals our character.

The greatest gift you can give to your children is a model character. Character inspires and is inspiring – strive to inspire!

Goal #10 — Sense of Fun

Having fun and maintaining a childlike enthusiasm is a worthy goal for which every parent and teacher should want for their children. Stress the importance of taking their responsibilities seriously but never themselves.

Teach them to laugh at themselves and to carry a smile everywhere they go. Fun is the fabric of happy memories, the icing on the cake of life. It ends far sooner than any of us would like. Let your child see you laughing and enjoying life. This will in affect tickle the toes of their soul as well.

The goals listed above must become a part of your children’s every day thinking. People who live on purpose, developed by and through goal-directed behavior, have a greater chance of developing this type of mindset. It is thinking at this level that will help your child to be a high-achiever.

© Family First. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For more information, please visit

What's Next

We would love to answer any question you have or help suggest next steps on your journey.