As a parent, the list of things you need to teach your kids is a mile long. You start by teaching them how to talk and walk, and eventually you end up teaching them how to drive and open up a bank account. Watching your child learn and helping them understand new concepts is one of the most gratifying aspects of parenting.
While many of the things that kids learn are hard skills, such as tying their shoes, there are lots of soft skills that shouldn’t be overlooked. Two that are particularly important are goal setting and task management. Knowing how to set goals and manage tasks to achieve them will help your children accomplish great things in life. This is especially true as many adults also struggle with these tasks.
Teaching these essential skills is often easier with the assistance of some tools. In this day and age, a lot of instruction can be aided by technology. These four devices have features that can help you teach your kids how to set goals and then pursue them autonomously:
1. Smart Watch
The problem with most electronic devices is that they’re commonly used for entertainment purposes. Sure, there are tons of great productivity apps available on smartphones. However, there are also plenty of time-consuming social media sites, mobile games, and video streaming platforms. So, how do you find the perfect balance?
One answer is the smart watch. A smart watch for kids works as a communication device to call or send texts to parents and friends. What it lacks are all of those pesky apps that can draw your child away from reality.
Smart watches are fantastic tools for promoting activity and fitness. You can set a step goal with your child that can be tracked using their smart watch. This can help them learn about goal setting as they move on to bigger accomplishments, such as training for a 5k race or losing weight to compete in a specific wrestling class.
2. Kids Phone
In the same vein as a kids smart watch is a kids smart phone. These devices follow the same model, providing basic features without the extra bells and whistles. Even with restrictions, this is still a step up from a smart watch. Phones are easier to text with, for example, which is an activity that may need to be monitored as your child develops and matures.
While a kids phone requires more responsibility than a watch, it can also accomplish a lot more. Navigating a calendar app, for example, is much easier with the larger screen. This will help your child create schedules for their goals with due dates and alarms. This is the perfect complementary tool for the teaching you provide them.
When your child has their own phone you can communicate with them in more ways. Helpful texts can encourage young children to stick to their goals or remember the tasks they have planned for the day. You will be able to provide a positive influence even while they’re away from home.
A great goal that kids can set at any age is to read. The benefits of reading are no secret, and an e-reader makes reading even more accessible. An e-reader is essentially just a tablet with all of the extra features gutted out. This makes them more affordable and easier for kids to use.
With their own e-reader, kids can work on setting reading goals throughout the year. These goals will depend on their reading level and level of activity. As they continue to grow, those goals can be increased as a measure of their progress.
When reading a book digitally, it will show you how far along you are with your reading. This makes it easier for kids to track the goals they set. Goals can be based around completing a specific amount of chapters, pages, or a percentage of the book within a certain time period.
4. Video Games
The device that you select doesn’t have to be exclusively for productivity. You can take a slightly different approach, using it as a reward instead. As your child learns to set goals and manage their task list, they can earn time on their favorite device. Video games are a common favorite among younger people and can be quite the powerful incentive.
Let’s say you’re trying to teach your child how to complete a chore list by themselves. They will need to learn how to divvy out each task throughout the week. This prioritization helps them avoid getting overwhelmed by the whole list when the weekend arrives. Their video game console can be used as an incentive to complete that chore list in a timely manner.
Each chore can be assigned an amount of video game time allotted for the week. Your child will learn how to manage their tasks so that they can play games when they would like. Complete them all too soon and they might run out of time. Finish them too late and the time might expire with a new week.
Trusting your child with technology can be nerve wracking, but it can also be a valuable tool. Using electronic devices to teach valuable lessons will make it much more worthwhile. If you can teach them these necessary soft skills, you’ll be setting them up for a successful future.
Image: Envato Elements