1. Parenting
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Life Skills for Teens: Goal Setting and Attaining Skills

By

Quick Links: Quiz: Is Your Teen Independent? | Life Skills Your Teen Needs to Be Independent

People are always asking themselves: What do I want and how do I get it? Defining what it is you want is called setting a goal. Figuring out and taking the actions you need to get your goal is how you obtain that goal. Both of these are important life skills. It doesn't matter if you are talking about getting the perfect job or eating an Italian sandwich for lunch, you need to take some action to obtain your goal. Learning how to set and obtain a goal are necessary life skills your teen will need to be a happy and successful adult.

It's a pretty simple concept, except life is not that simple. Let's take getting an Italian sandwich for lunch as an example. At noon, I can go to a Pizza Shop, order a sandwich and pay for it, then eat it. I am able to do this because I have a car, there is a Pizza Shop in my town and I have the money to pay for the sandwich. But if I didn't have a car, I'd have to find another way to the Pizza Shop, making my goal harder to achieve.

That is where our teens are at in the grand scheme of goal setting and attaining. They can set a goal, like 'I want to be really good at playing the saxophone' but they don't have all of the tools and abilities to get to that goal easily. This the point where parents come in. Much of what your teen needs to do to obtain a goal comes through you. You may have to give them a ride or the money to pay for the saxophone lessons. But as our teens get older, they will slowly be able to do the actions that produce the goals they want on their own. For instance, when your teen gets a license, they will be able to drive themselves to their lessons, or by that time, drive you to their concerts.

In order for you, the parent, to teach you teens how to master the life skills of setting and attaining goals, you should help your teen clarify their goals, shed some light on the actions required to get to their goal and aid them in getting the tools they need. This takes time and practice. Here are more resources that will help:

Quick Links: Quiz: Is Your Teen Independent? | Life Skills Your Teen Needs to Be Independent

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.