Children with a sense of purpose take initiative, feel responsible for their actions, seek alternatives to problems, and evaluate their past performance. Here are some suggestions for building a sense of purpose:
Help children develop effective decision-making skills.
- Let them make decisions when appropriate.
- Provide regular opportunities for making choices.
- Give your reasons for your own beliefs and values and invite them to do the same.
- Encourage them to follow through on their own decisions.
In problem situations, decide whose problem it is.
- If it is your problem, you solve it.
- If it is their problem, let them solve it.
- Point out that everyone involved may be contributing to the problem.
Have children focus on solving the problem once it has been defined.
- Ask questions that will help lead to solutions.
- List acceptable solutions and let them choose one.
- Let them offer their own solutions.
- Assist them in evaluating the way the problem was solved.
Teach your children to set realistic goals.
- Model your own goals and dreams.
- Discuss goals and monitor progress.
- Give your children opportunities to practice decision-making.
- Show your children how to weigh options and consider alternatives.
Create a sense of responsibility.
- Assign meaningful duties to each family member.
- Don't make excuses for children if chores are not done.
- Help your children set up a schedule.
Some fun ideas
- Read a "Dear Abby" column and offer your own solutions.
- Celebrate success of a goal.
- Write lists of chores on individual papers and draw from hat.
- Ask your children to draw a picture of themselves as if they have already achieved a goal.