Jan 8, 2024

How Parents Can Teach Child


to Plan Their Life to be Happier

As parents, we all want our children to live happy and fulfilling lives. We want them to grow up to be successful, accomplished individuals. But how can we ensure that they have the necessary skills and mindset to achieve their goals? One crucial skill that parents can teach their children is effective planning.

By teaching your child how to plan, you are setting them up for success in all aspects of their lives – from academics to relationships to personal growth. In this article, we will explore the importance of planning skills, the key abilities that children need to become expert planners, and strategies to help your child develop the habit of planning.

The Value of Effective Planning

Effective planning is more than just creating a to-do list or setting goals. It involves the ability to identify and manage tasks, analyze the necessary steps to complete those tasks, and prioritize actions. When children learn how to plan, they gain a sense of control over their lives.

They become more organized, which leads to increased productivity and efficiency. Planning also helps children eliminate distractions and make better decisions. In fact, research has shown that planning skills are strongly correlated with success in both personal and professional endeavors.

The Essential Planning Skills for Children

To become expert planners, children need to develop certain key abilities. These skills lay the foundation for effective planning and help children navigate the challenges they will face in life. Here are four essential planning skills that every child should learn:

1. Identifying the Ultimate Goal

Before children can start mapping out their next steps, they need to be able to identify their ultimate goal. This involves distinguishing between "end goals" and "means goals." End goals are the ultimate objectives, while means goals are the steps taken to achieve those objectives.

For example, if a child wants to live a healthier life and feel more confident in their own skin, their end goal might be to lose weight and be more physically active. Means goals would include exercising regularly, eating a balanced diet, and reducing sugar intake. By helping your child understand the difference between end goals and means goals, you are teaching them the importance of knowing where they are going and how to get there.

2. Staying Focused

In our fast-paced and distracted world, it's easy for children to lose sight of the big picture and get caught up in minor details. To be effective planners, children need to understand the importance of staying focused on the main idea or central concept. This involves distinguishing between what is important and what is not.

By teaching your child how to prioritize tasks and activities, you are helping them develop the ability to stay focused on their goals and avoid getting overwhelmed by distractions.

3. Using a Checklist

Checklists are powerful tools for achieving goals and staying organized. They help eliminate distractions, provide motivation, and keep us on track. However, many children struggle to create checklists and use them effectively. As a parent, you can teach your child how to create a checklist by breaking down tasks into smaller, manageable steps.

Encourage them to cross off completed tasks and celebrate their progress. By using checklists, children learn how to plan and execute tasks systematically, leading to increased productivity and a sense of accomplishment.

4. Working Through Roadblocks

Resilience in the face of adversity is a critical skill for success in life. Children need to learn how to adapt and overcome obstacles when things don't go according to plan. As a parent, you can teach your child how to work through roadblocks by encouraging them to view setbacks as opportunities for growth.

Help them develop problem-solving skills and a positive mindset, so they are better equipped to face challenges head-on. By teaching them how to pivot and keep moving forward, you are instilling in them the resilience they need to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals.

Strategies to Develop a Habit of Planning

Now that you understand the benefits of teaching your child how to plan, let's explore some strategies to help them develop this essential life skill:

1. Create SMART Goals

SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. They provide a clear framework for setting objectives and tracking progress. Work with your child to create SMART goals that are meaningful and aligned with their interests and values. Break down the goals into smaller tasks and develop a timeline for completion. By setting SMART goals, your child will develop a sense of direction and purpose, which will motivate them to plan and take action.

2. Prioritize Tasks

One common challenge in planning is trying to do too much at once. Help your child understand the importance of prioritizing tasks and focusing on one task at a time. Teach them how to identify the most important and urgent tasks and tackle them first. By prioritizing tasks, your child will learn how to manage their time effectively and avoid feeling overwhelmed.

3. Use Visuals

Visual aids, such as calendars, charts, and diagrams, can be powerful tools for planning. Encourage your child to use visual aids to organize their thoughts, track progress, and set reminders. Visuals can help children visualize their goals and tasks, making planning more engaging and enjoyable. Additionally, visual aids can serve as a visual reminder of their progress and accomplishments, boosting their motivation and confidence.

4. Regularly Review and Adjust Plans

Planning is an ongoing process. Encourage your child to regularly review their plans and adjust them as needed. Help them reflect on their progress, identify areas for improvement, and make necessary changes. By teaching your child the importance of flexibility and adaptation, you are equipping them with the skills to navigate unexpected changes and challenges.

Famous Examples of Successful Planners

Many successful individuals attribute their achievements to effective planning skills. Here are a few examples of famous people who credit planning for their success:

  • Bill Gates: Co-founder of Microsoft and philanthropist, known for his meticulous planning and goal-setting.

  • Tyra Banks: Supermodel, TV personality, and entrepreneur, who attributes her success to strategic planning and goal-oriented mindset.

  • Reed Hastings: Co-founder and CEO of Netflix, known for his strategic planning and innovative approach to business.

  • Michelle Obama: Former First Lady, lawyer, and author, who emphasizes the importance of setting clear goals and creating a roadmap for success.

  • Richard Branson: Founder of Virgin Group, known for his risk-taking and strategic planning skills.

  • Mary Callahan Erdoes: CEO of J.P. Morgan Asset & Wealth Management, who emphasizes the value of planning and preparation in achieving financial success.

These individuals demonstrate the power of planning in achieving personal and professional goals. By teaching your child effective planning skills, you are empowering them to pursue their dreams and live a purposeful life.


Teaching your child how to plan is one of the most valuable gifts you can give them. Effective planning skills lay the foundation for success in all areas of life – from academics to relationships to personal growth.

By helping your child identify their goals, stay focused, use checklists, and work through roadblocks, you are equipping them with the tools they need to navigate life's challenges and achieve their dreams.

Remember, planning is an ongoing process, and it's never too early or too late to start teaching your child this essential life skill. By instilling the habit of planning in your child, you are setting them up for a happier, more fulfilling future.