It’s 2022! Inevitably, every New Year brings discussion of resolutions. Many of us write a long list of resolutions to share with our friends and family. A quick scan of your Facebook news feed will reveal many of your friends’ goals for 2022. Unfortunately, according to many polls & studies, we rarely follow through with our resolutions. I do believe that we have the best intentions when it comes to our resolutions. However, I think that we set ourselves up for disappointment because we have too many of them, make them too big, or don’t think to break them into smaller pieces. I see this so often among our parents & students when each New Year brings a new semester.

Here are a few ways for parents & students to get on the same page and work towards their goals together:

1. Focus on the positive.

It’s easy for parents to focus on everything that is going wrong in their child’s academic life. Try to focus on the positive traits of your child and share those with him. Conversely, ask your child what he likes about school and/or his extra-curricular activities.

2.Discuss short-term vs. long-term goals.

Classify goals into short-term and long-term categories. For example, your child might be aiming to attend VA Tech. The long-term goal is to maintain a high GPA while an immediate short-term goal is to make a plan to be successful on his upcoming mid-term exams.

3.Fix systems that are broken.

The best laid plans for getting papers back & forth to school or having your child use his agenda can start to fail during the school year. Have a non-confrontational talk about it what the student likes and dislikes about the system. Ask him what he thinks might work better for him. The answers might surprise you.

4. Quit something that is worth quitting.

In the quest to keep our students competitive, many times both students and parents take on way too many extra-curricular activities that drain their energy. Or they continue with an extra-curricular that is no longer enjoyable. Is there something that could be given up making time for more focus on academics? Or maybe the 5-day week swim schedule in which the student has lost the passion for could be replaced by a once week guitar lesson. This could generate positive energy and more time.

When it really comes down to helping your student stay on track with their goals, nothing is more important than open lines of communication and finding the right resources to support you Above all, don’t be afraid to ask for help.