There are so many ideas out there that encourage inspiring your child to achieve success. Whether a child has special needs or not, outlining goals can be an effective way to build self-esteem while reinforcing good behaviors. Making these goals tangible is a topic we’ve discussed before, but we would like to now go one step further in terms of how to highlight the progress that’s been achieved by making a goal board!
First, the idea of creating a board that highlights aspirations and accomplishments is not exactly a new idea. Dream boards (also known as vision boards) have risen in popularity recently. Best-selling books have prescribed the idea of pinning or gluing different images of life goals to keep them top-of-mind. While these boards might highlight common desires like love, happiness, wealth, etc., they also focus heavily on lofty ideas and ‘big picture’ efforts. Where a vision board may focus on the ‘big,’ there is room for focus on the everyday. A goal board is intended to be about achievements today, tomorrow and for the weeks, months and years to come.
With a focus on the path being taken, a goal board represents where your child has been and where he or she is hoping to go. By focusing on the small steps and incremental efforts, proper attention is being given for the long, hard road required in things like therapy or education. Your child’s goal board can track how ongoing effort makes a difference in goals big and small.
Rather than being a collage of images, we see a goal board as more of a practical record you and your child can embrace. While a sterile spreadsheet isn’t the most attractive route, your child’s goal board can be as simple as a dry erase board or as detailed as a ‘training plan.’ Recording milestones as they’re achieved and documenting every day’s effort creates an anthology that not only is helpful for your child’s confidence, but may also be helpful for his or her ongoing medical treatment. Because it tracks the efforts taken, a goal board’s data may even supplement medical records and highlight the effectiveness of various treatments!
‘Data’ to consider including in your goal board include (but are not at all limited to!):
- Physical therapy ‘reps’
- Time spent on speech therapy
- School accomplishments
- Individual interests (track at-home ‘reports’ on interests like animals, the weather, etc.)
- Behavioral focuses
- Skills learned (colors, numbers, words)
- Reading time
- Steps taken (through the use of a pedometer)
Our focus in suggesting a goal board for your child with Cerebral Palsy is that it instills confidence and highlights how results come in the big and the small. Each child’s Cerebral Palsy impacts them in a unique way and where one child may have a limp or speech difficulty, another may require constant home care. Findings ways, however big or small, to focus attention on the accomplishments your child and your family are making with each day of strength is a tremendous way to document the journey.
For more information on how we can be a partner in helping limit Cerebral Palsy’s role in your child’s life, please call us at (800) 692-4453 or fill out our online form. Doing so not only gives you access to a wide assortment of information for parents of children with Cerebral Palsy, it also connects you with a MyChild care team member who will find all of the ways we can uniquely help your family. We hope to hear from you soon.