With the new year around the corner, now is a great time to talk with your teen about goal-setting. Here are three strategies to facilitate your teen’s goals.   

1.) Guide your teen in identifying personal goals.

It is important to distinguish what it looks like to set goals for your teen and set goals with your teen. Aim for a collaborative approach: your teen’s goals should not be your goals for them. Rather, guide your son or daughter through the goal-setting process. Encourage them to start with goals they find exciting. Academic goals are a good place to begin, but goals can also stretch beyond the classroom. For example, if your teen is involved in a club, their goal can be to take on leadership roles in the activity.

Focus on realistic goals that are just out of reach. Good goals are also specific. Work together with your teen to break down their goal into practical, actionable steps. Use our downloadable goal worksheet goal sheet to help set them up for success. This sheet will help your teen commit to the process of following through and seeing their goals to fruition.Image of Goal Worksheet.

2.) Cheerlead your teen en route to meeting goals

Show your teen that you are in their corner with consistent check-ins and encouragement. You want your teen to stay on track with their goals, but understand that we all have to adjust along the way. Affirm your teen’s efforts even if things do not go exactly as planned. Be respectful of their timeline, even if it doesn’t align with what you had in mind. This is their goal, and their progress depends on their commitment. Ask how you can help support them in achieving their goal. This shows you care and are always there for them.

3.) Follow up

Celebrate your teen’s wins. When they achieve certain milestones, encourage them to keep going. If they achieve a really big goal, gather your family to celebrate. Recognize all of the hard work they put into their success. This helps to build your teen’s confidence: having accomplished this goal, they will feel equipped to tackle even bigger goals.

If they do not achieve a goal, help your teen identify external factors and barriers that influenced the outcome. Motivate them to adjust their current goal or make a new one. It is okay to move forward; we all experience setbacks.

At Shelterwood, we know that encouraging your struggling teen can be difficult. We hope these tips can help you connect with your teen. If you feel frustrated and at a dead end, Shelterwood Residential Treatment Agency might be a good fit for your family. Call us today for a confidential assessment: 800.584.5005.