Creative Child

Why Goals Help Kids Create a Life they Love

by Deborah Song


The problem with kids and goals is that parents often get in the way of them, admittedly. While I would much rather spend money on sports than art lessons, I have decided that for a 7-year-old, the most important thing I could teach her is how to set goals for herself, pursue her venture through failures and success, and achieve the goals she set out for herself.

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I used to complain she never showed any interest in anything besides playing with her toys. But that wasn’t true. She loved to draw. I just never took her hobby seriously. When I asked her what kind of class she would like to enroll in after school, she said art class. I chose not to listen.

But if there’s one costly lesson parents can sidestep, it’s that motivation can’t be manufactured. Maybe you can dangle carrots in front of your child long enough to get them into college, though one college interviewer from a top ten U.S. university once told me she weeds out applicants who obviously only did things their parents told them to. The reality, however, is that you can’t dangle carrots forever.


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The people who find the most satisfaction and success in life are those who discover their own goals, build the confidence and grit to pursue their goals and see them through. As parents we can play a huge role in helping our kids take the first step towards creating a fulfilling and accomplished life: we can ask them what they want to achieve. And we can listen and support them.

Goals are the precursor to every achievement or accomplishment. And the reason goals are so important in a young child’s life is because it helps her identify what she wants. She then learns to be decisive and channel her energy. Furthermore, rather than letting her day pass by unremarkably, goals help a child measure progress towards the things she cares most about. In short, goals keep you motivated and accountable.



Deborah Song is the founder of, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at

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