By Sherea VéJauan
CERRITOS, CA (March 4, 2013) – Editor’s note: Sheréa VéJauan serves as director of children’s ministry at Newsong Los Angeles Covenant Church and also heads her own public relations/marketing agency. She guides The Goal Setter’s Club, a coaching organization that teaches goal-setting to youth and families. This month’s column focuses on teens.
Parents, school, and society automatically support young people setting goals for homework and sports, but I wonder if any consideration is given to helping them develop other important goal-setting skills. Our tweens and teens need balance with setting goals to help create stability in other areas of life, including financial literacy, physical health, spiritual development, personal development, and dealing with relationships.
After witnessing the benefits of a balanced goal-setting agenda with my own pre-teens I decided to teach my first set of goal workshops to a group of tweens and teens. It was awesome! I did not recognize the impact it made until I began to receive feedback.
I was amazed and inspired by hearing the details of their goals and dreams. These included finding and keeping friends, creating a unique fashion style, becoming entrepreneurs, developing a closer relationship with God, and excelling in education.
I’ve been surprised at how even young children will want to set goals. After hearing one of my workshops for older kids, my five-year-old niece approached me with an index card with four of her top goals on it. She said, “Auntie, I have goals too!” My heart melted. This also has led me to start planning a workshop geared just for children.
Adults might be tempted to treat as insignificant the goals set by teens such as purchasing a cell phone, but youth still are not exempt from the same frustrations and anxieties as their parents. Learning financial goal setting is just as important for teens, however, as it is for adults. The principles also are the same when it comes to making and keeping their yearly goals. Here are a few suggestions to help your tweens and teens.
Talk about their goals: I meet with my girls once a week to discuss their goals and get a good plan for the following week. You can schedule a time each week; or simply talk in the car on the way to school or church, at the dinner table during mealtime, or choose a local ice cream or yogurt shop to have a chat about goal setting.
Visualize their goals: Help your teen create a vision board of their goals by providing a stack of old magazines, a large piece of poster board, glue and scissors. My girls look forward to creating their vision boards. After they’re done, I frame them and hang them in the hallways or places where they are constantly visual. They can also place in their rooms for inspiration. (For more on creating vision boards, click here.)
Support their goals: Encourage your teen to research websites and sign up for newsletters that can further their goals. Are there any magazines you can subscribe to? Are there books you can purchase for them? Are there any seasonal or yearly trade shows you can attend together as a family? Make sure you plan to incorporate financial and time costs into the family budget. That time, for example, might include driving students to activities.