All parents have expectations of their children. Setting and communicating these expectations in a healthy manner goes a long way in helping children achieve their maximum potential.
There are two primary types of expectations that can be established for kids. The first type is behavioral. Behavioral expectations demonstrate character traits that parents would like to see in their children. These may include things like manners, ambition, perseverance, respect, and the ability to take responsibility.
The second type of expectations is achievements. Achievements are based on your child accomplishing specific objectives such as developing friendships, earning certain grades, or making a team.
It is important that that the expectations you set are realistic. Expectations that are set too high or do not match your child’s personality, strengths, age, or interests can lead to all kinds of negative stress for you and your child.
Here are some helpful tips you can utilize establish healthy expectations:
· Talk to your child often so you can understand his/her strengths, weaknesses, and interests.
· Make sure that you communicate your expectations clearly and specifically.
· Ensure that your child has the resources, education, and support needed to reach set standards.
· Make sure your child knows how they, not you, benefit from meeting certain expectations and goals.
· Emphasize unmet expectations as opportunities for learning and growth as opposed to being examples of personal failure.
· Remember that your actions speak louder than words.
· Avoid using “do as I say, not as I do” as a primary parenting philosophy.