What is too much to expect from one’s children?

11 Aug

As part of an ongoing series on anticipation and setting expectations, I recommend you also look into these posts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Thank you for reading!

Our children change rapidly, but there are periods that will stand out as benchmarks of change. It is our job to be aware of these gate changes and readjust our expectations in consort. For some parents we will be adjusting our expectations frequently (several times a year) and for other parents we might be re-calibrating every other year or so. It is mostly dependent on the way our child grows. In any case telling our child in specific words exactly what we expect as often as necessary becomes paramount.

But this is not quite enough.

We should also tell our children exactly what to expect from us. Most of us leave this part out. It is our job, in part, to help set expectation for our children but not at the exclusion of setting clarity as to our responsibilities as well. Yes, this may put us on the spot, but it’s fair and will do much to endear true value for our role in their lives.

If expectation (parents or child’s) is not regularly met, a deeper disappointment may begin to set in and this could possible start a spiral towards disconnect and separation. Talking clearly and honestly about each person’s specific and general expectations will go a long way to creating a reciprocal relationship and may avoid that all-too-common period when our kids choose not to relate.

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