Helping Kids Set Healthy Goals for the New Year

Salt Lake City, UT — (ReleaseWire) — 01/16/2022 — As a new year begins, many people think about setting healthy goals. Parents can also help their children, and each can learn a lot from the other by setting goals together. Pediatricians say there are many benefits of goal setting.

“Goals give kids hope and something to look forward to. They help children try new things, learn new skills, and form new habits. Achieving goals boosts kids’ self-confidence. Whether the goal is achieved or not, your child will learn more about themselves,” said Katrina Jensen, a pediatric nurse with Intermountain Healthcare.

Jensen gives five tips for setting goals with children:

1. Explain what goals are and set an example by working on a goal.
2. Ask your child their ideas for goals. During brainstorming, there are no “bad” ideas.
3. Help your child choose goals that are fun, realistic, specific and age-appropriate.
4. Break down long-term goals into several short-term goals.
5. Talk about the reward of achieving the goal.

She also says it is important to be age appropriate when setting goals. “Some ideas are more realistic for older children, but even young kids can succeed and have that sense of accomplishment,” said Jensen. She offers the following ideas for healthy age-appropriate goals”

Toddlers and preschoolers:
Wash hands after going to the bathroom and before eating โ€“ sing a song while washing.

Learn to share toys with other children. See if it makes them smile.

Be friendly to animals and ask owners before you pet them.

For kids ages 5-11:
Find a sport or exercise you like and do it three times a week with a friend or family member.

Wear a helmet when sledding, skiing, or riding a bike, skateboard or scooter. Let your child choose their helmet or customize it with cool stickers.

Follow household rules about screen time. Screen time could be earned by good behavior.

For teens:
Get 8-10 hours of sleep each night.

Make time for positive ways to relieve stress. Exercise, write in a journal, talk through problems or decisions with a trusted person.

Find a way to volunteer in the community, doing something you enjoy through a school club or non-profit that supports a cause you feel passionate about.

For more ideas about ways to keep your child healthy and safe, visit the pediatrics blog at Intermountain Healthcare.

About Intermountain Healthcare
Located in Utah, Idaho, and Nevada, Intermountain Healthcare is a nonprofit system of 25 hospitals, 225 clinics, the Intermountain Medical Group with some 2,700 employed physicians and advanced care practitioners, a health plans division called SelectHealth, Homecare, and other health services. Helping people live the healthiest lives possible, Intermountain is committed to improving community health and is widely recognized as a leader in transforming healthcare by using evidence-based best practices to consistently deliver high-quality outcomes at sustainable costs. For more information, see Intermountain Healthcare or the Intermountain Healthcare Blog.

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Holly Nelson
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Intermountain Healthcare
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