Father Sez

From and to parents - parental advice to our children on personal financial management and life.
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Posts Tagged ‘goal setting for children’

How did my children fare in their 2008 goals?

Wednesday, December 31st, 2008

One of my bigger regrets in life is that I did not spend as much time as I should have with my two elder girls when they were growing up. I was then too engrossed in climbing up my career ladder.  I have long determined that I should and shall not repeat this mistake with my younger three kids, Abang (our only boy, now 15), Nana (14) and Ain(9).  

And one of the things I do with my three kids is joining them in setting their yearly goals. We have been doing this since December 2005. The exercise does meet some of the rules for SMART goals some of the time and all the rules some of the time. Each of them has a goal book, so that the goals set can be tracked by year. (I suppose these books would have some nostalgic value when they are much older.) 

As usual, in early December 08, we sat and reviewed the goals set for the year. 

Abang did not set any goals for himself for 2008. He got away by promising that he would set them by himself. In addition he claimed he had misplaced his goal book. Though he “escaped” in 2008, he has set himself some really worthy goals for 2009, maybe a little too many. 

Nana had set some goals covering her studies, health, religion, finance and social. And the same for Ain.

On the financial (savings) goals set by Ain and Nana, they both scored an A+. I had initially thought that the goals were too difficult to achieve, and had agreed to contribute agreed sums of money should they achieve the savings goal. Not only did they meet the goal, but surpassed it very comfortably. 

Note: Ain’s financial goals for 2008 were featured when Lynnae hosted the 2nd Carnival of Financial Goals, way back in January 08.

I am really pleased about the fact that there were no wild splurging when they received their Hari Raya duit. This refers to monetary gifts they receive during Eid from the busload of grand uncles and aunties they have from both their mother’s and my side. (I remember almost throwing a fit when in 2006, Nana wanted to buy a RM175 CD.)  

Their savings (together with my contribution) has just been banked into their savings accounts.  

There were some hiccups on the other goals set. Though we had together reviewed the goals during each of their school term holidays (and there were promises each time to do better and catch up), the progress was, shall we say “improvable”. 

The maintaining of their accounting is also something that needs some improvement. Though they had good written records of the money they received as allowances, spent and saved in their piggy bank, the year end totals did not tally! The book balances were higher than their physical balances! And by amounts that indicated the need for far better money handling skills.  

I have an idea on how to resolve this for 2009.  

I am very happy and proud that my younger kids now seem to accept this yearly goal setting as a habit. There is now some sort of an internal motivation for them to meet their goals. Goals set with some thought. Goals that any parent would consider worthy. 

I’ll talk about their 2009 goals next week. (The two elder girls, Along and Azah, have also done their goals, but I think they would prefer to let it be a private affair.)   

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