What do you expect from your kids? How do you communicate your expectations to them? Today, let’s talk about what’s reasonable and what’s not.
All parents expect certain things from their children. But expectations that are too high, too low, or never clearly expressed can cause trouble. Having expectations that are too high promotes failure rather than success, and leads to an enormous amount of stress for both you and your kids.
On the other hand, expectations that are too low can lead to failure, too, because they don’t help your children to stretch their capacities and develop a sense of competence and resiliency. And a vital component to the process: Make sure you talk to your kids about your expectations and spell them out as clearly as possible.
If you expect them to clean their room once a week, make sure they understand exactly what “clean” means and which day of the week they have to have it done by. At the same time, tailor your expectations so that they’re realistic and appropriate to that particular child at that particular stage of their development.
What’s right for one doesn’t necessarily fit another and what was reasonable ten years ago may no longer make much sense today.
By the way, if you expect your kids to share certain values you cherish – such as honesty, confidence, and dependability – make sure you serve as a good role model. Even when they may not seem to be listening to what you say, you can bet they are paying close attention to what you do.