Setting expectations for your children is one of the most vital aspect of parenting. It helps to keep a track of what is important for you, the family and facilitates a standard toward which your children can progress. It is something that will help guide and mold them but at the same time, keep in mind that a coin has two sides to it and your expectations can actually become double-edged swords. They could be good or bad depending on what type of expectations you set. Unfortunately, today’s modern world is a rat race of high competition and popular culture has led to parents setting unachievable expectations for their children.
Incorrect Expectation of Measuring Success
We as parents often expect our children to get straight A’s in all subjects or expect them to always win in sports without even assessing their abilities. But what you should understand is that you cannot really control your child’s capabilities nor know the full potential of it till they actually grow up and do something in that field. Instead, you should motivate them to do their best and guide them toward the right path.
Setting an expectation of getting the best grade or putting an emphasis on winning will send the wrong message to your children that you value results over achievements. This will only hinder the efforts your child is putting toward achieving the best results as the focus will be on winning and not doing their best which could result in winning.
As a parent, it is inevitable for you to have some expectations of your child. So, why not establish those expectations in collaboration with your children? This way your child will also have the ownership and will not be pushed into doing something.
You can talk to your children, understand their difficulties and help them toward being successful. Share with them the value of effort and perseverance, how it will help them achieve their goals and objectives and have control over their life.
Setting Realistic Expectations
If you always expect your children to be happy and co-operative, then you are up for disappointment as they are not always going to listen to you. Nobody is perfect, so your expectations should be made keeping in mind the child’s physical and intellectual abilities which will keep both you and your child happy.
There is no magical formula for parenting and everybody out there learns through experience. Develop reasonable expectations and lay the groundwork. Then leave the rest to your child. After all, they are the ones who have to live their life to the best of their potential.
Let your children know the rules. If you have a rule that really matters to you, convey it clearly. It’s ok to give your children some personal space and independence. Once you have investigated with your children and framed the right expectations, it is important to convey it to them over and over. Giving children the authority to question your expectation is a way to encourage them to think and set their own expectations. Be ready to help them understand why you want them to do something. It will make things a lot easier, for you to set an expectation and for them to follow.
No one said parenting is easy. Keep your expectations simple; be realistic and encourage your children to be the best in whatever they wish to be. You will survive this journey!