What Do You Expect??

Stating Your Expectations Clearly From Your Kids

Have you ever had a boss jump down your throat because you didn’t do what he expected, the mere fact that he failed to tell you what exactly he wanted not withstanding? How did you feel?  Angry, confused, determined to get even?Unfortunately more often than we realize, we do the same thing to our children don’t we? We expect them to just “clue in” to what we want from them often neglecting to train them adequately.  I for one have been guilty of this as  a parent .

One of the biggest challenges that all of us suffer from is lack of communication. We often expect others to know what is going on in our minds but we neglect to tell them what we expect.  In my early years of parenting I was really bad for this. Once I became aware of it and began stating my expectations clearly to my children I saw a dramatic change in their behavior. By stating your expectations clearly, you set appropriate boundaries which really take the guess work out of trying to figure out what you are really looking for.

Not only did I notice an improvement in my children’s behavior I also noticed that I did not feel so stressed either. (Isn’t communication great!!) Here are a few guidelines that I attempt to use daily that you may also find beneficial.

  • The best way to reduce the need to troubleshoot is to keep your child in the loop of what is happening.  In other words let her in on the agenda.
  • Give a very brief overview of what will be happening in the next short while.
  • State clearly what her role will be and exactly what your expectations of her will be.
  • Maintain a calm demeanor and use a respectful tone.
  • Use terms such as “I expect”, “I need you to…” “I want you to…” in your sentence.
    • For example: “Kids ! in five minutes we will be leaving and I expect you all to have your coat and shoes on please.”



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