Keep a goal chart. Make a goal chart so that kids can keep track of their goals, dreams, and accomplishments. These can be a good mix between small and large goals. Blending them together helps kids see that some things can be accomplished quickly and easily, while others may take more time and effort. If you only track large goals, that could discourage some kids when they see how long it's taking. On the flip side, if you only track smaller, simple goals, they may think everything in life is easy, which could backfire when there are certain things they cannot have or do right away.
Cheer them on. When watching your kids achieve goals, milestones, and achievements, don't forget to cheer them on. This is true with the items on the chart and just everyday achievements. It can be easy to just shirk off the simple things after a child tells you about the same or similar things every day. But, if your child is excited about something, big or small, cheer her on anyway.
Don't dwell on failures. It's only natural that your child will not succeed at everything. Don't focus on these things. It's alright to offer encouragement for your child to try again. But don't focus overly on the negative aspects of failure. Instead, find the positive things that occurred in the process of trying to obtain goals.
Let them know they motivate you. Most parents get inspired by their kids often. But how often do we let them know how they make us feel? We might tell them we love them. But when your kids inspire you to do something, do you tell them you are doing it because of them? Doing so lets them know they have the ability to do great things.
Foster what excites them. Does your child get especially excited over something in particular? Harbor that interest. If it's dance, get him in dance classes and offer gentle - not pushy - encouragement and guidance. If it's medicine, take her to medical museums, buy books, and register her for age-appropriate classes. Fostering and encouraging their natural interests, without pushing them or expecting too much, helps children develop self-confidence. This motivates them to be the best they can be as individuals.
*I originally published this via Yahoo Contributor Network