Taking time to reflect and evaluate how satisfied we are with our lives may seem like something only adults do. I have found that helping children (of all ages) examine key areas of their lives in an intentional exercise can be very beneficial.
Positive change is most likely to occur when we first assess our current situation.
I have found that the “Wheel of Life” assessment is a safe, non-judgmental, non-evaluative tool that allows for reflection and creates a structure and starting place for Goal Setting.
Below you will see two examples of a “Wheel of Life” that I have created for Students.
The first “Wheel of Life” addresses issues related to school performance.
Being able to perform well in school is not just about knowing the facts. It’s also about being able to show that you know the information you’ve learned. The best way to do this is by improving your Executive Function skills, which are the skills that help you do what you need to do to reach your goals.
The second “Wheel of Life” is focused more on home and personal factors. Life is not just about school. To feel confident and well-rounded, it’s essential to address each aspect of life that brings you joy, opportunity, frustration, and challenge.
For each wheel, I have included specific categories. I suggest starting with two blank wheels (one for school, one for personal) and discussing with your child what categories THEY feel are most important. They may come up with ones that are not represented in my examples or feel that some areas are not relevant or important to them.
Each wheel has eight labeled segments and five numbered circles.
For each segment of the wheel, help them evaluate “How satisfied do I feel in this area?” The center of the wheel represents “NOT SATISFIED” (1 point), and the outer edge represents “EXTREMELY SATISFIED” (5 points). They can rank their level of satisfaction with each segment by lightly coloring in each part of the segment that represents your current level of satisfaction. Then, rate them will overall satisfaction with their performance by summing up the numbers in each segment.
Here is the challenge: The total value may not add up to more than 40 points, and you may not have less than 15 points to encourage you to differentiate between the areas. We all have areas in our lives that we need to improve, and we all have things that we are great at. Once you have completed your wheel, you will be able to set appropriate goals to help you improve your performance skills.
You can learn more about student goal setting in my book, ADHD, Executive Function, & Behavioral Challenges in the Classroom: Managing the Impact on Learning, Motivation, and Stress.
And parents, the “Wheel of Life” is a great tool for you as well. See my article, The Parenting Bicycle: How bumpy is your ride?) for your own assessment.