Challenge Your Daughter to Set Crazy Goals

“Forget it. I just won’t go to church camp. There is no way I can earn that much money. I will just stay home and not get closer to God. Is that what you want?”

My daughter was in one of her preteen moods. She was extremely unhappy with our decision that she needed to earn the money to go to church camp. She was on board with the goal we set when the payment was far away, but now she only had a few months left and she hadn’t made the progress she needed to reach her goal.

We didn’t even expect her to earn the entire amount. She had to earn 1/3 of the cost. The problem was that she didn’t want to trade television time for chores.

But we held firm. Our daughter needed to learn the importance of goal setting, and even if it meant she wouldn’t get close to God we were going to require her to meet her goal to earn the money. Here is why.

NumbersIt helps her invest energy in the activity. Our daughter would go to every class and join every activity she heard about. She loves to start new things. The problem is that she quickly gets overwhelmed by the number of things she joins and she doesn’t put forth as much effort as at the first. If she has to earn the money to participate in those things, then she is going to have to want it. It is just like those people you knew in college. You could always tell who had parents who were paying and who were earning their own way. The people who worked for their college were the ones at class on a rainy Friday morning. (I’m sure there are always exceptions, but this was my general experience.)

Number2It teaches her discipline. So many nights she would play or watch tv all day and then I would remind her about her chores right before bed. Although she didn’t have a happy heart as she unloaded the dishwasher when she was exhausted, she soon learned that if she emptied the dishwasher first then she could play the rest of the night. Doing what you ought before what you want is a skill that most of us could use a refresher course on!

Number3It teaches her delayed gratification. She would have been more eager to do chores if she got her money right away, but it is important to learn to make steady progress toward a goal. By setting a goal and steadily earning toward it, she was learning that by saving up money she could obtain something that would have been way out of her price range at any one time.

Number4It gets chores done. I admit, this one may be a bit on the selfish side. I really needed some help around the house. If I get a clean kitchen while she learns goal setting—it is a win-win!


This summer our daughter is going on a trip with her school. In just one year she has earned over $1,500 for it. I am so proud of how hard she has worked. And she even told me the other day that she is glad we have made her earn the money because she thinks it helps her appreciate it more. Wow! The lessons we teach our girls really do sink in!

What crazy goals has your daughter achieved?