Setting Your Parenting Expectations – How to Get it Right

New parents with babySometimes parents exhibit behavior that actually causes their children to perform poorly on basic expectations such as chores, homework, and grades. It can be hard to have a small baby, and then suddenly a toddler getting into everything, then a blink of an eye a school aged child, and before we know it a teenager and so forth. Time seems to have no meaning when it comes to raising children. There here today and gone tomorrow and it all happens seemingly in the blink of an eye.

When you put into perspective how long you have to parent a child, it becomes very clear that it’s not in a child’s or parent’s best interest to be authoritative at all times. The home is supposed to be where a child can feel safe, loved and cared for no matter what. But parents who have too high of expectations can often times end up making things worse instead of better for themselves and their children.

Your Children Are Not Perfect

No matter what you tell yourself, your children will make mistakes. Sometimes they’ll make a huge mistake and it’ll be up to you to be there for them. You’ll need to be the loving pushover at times, and sometimes the strong stoic disciplinarian depending upon the situation. Children need you to be there for them in different ways at different times. This is not to say you should allow your children to walk all over you or to hurt others, but it is to say that sometimes when a child fails you’ll need to pick them up and love them anyway.

Let Things Go Sometimes

Unless something is a life or death situation, it’s okay to sometimes let things slide. If your child comes home from school and is sad due to breaking up with their boyfriend or girlfriend don’t just brush it under the rug as puppy love and silliness. Instead, give them some time to wallow in their pain. It’s not going to be the end of the world if your daughter vacuums on Tuesday instead of Monday after school. In fact, saying “hey I’ll do the vacuuming for you today, you go take a hot bath” teaches empathy and understanding. Behaviors you want your child to emulate.

Peace & Quiet is Sometimes Too Hard

If you have little kids, there are times when all you want from them is quiet, but believe it or not even that might be too high to hope for. When you are talking about little kids they really don’t understand. They have the pressures of their own world on them that you can’t remember or comprehend and your feelings and desires really do not matter so much to them when they’re that little. As a grown up you can adjust your expectations by turning on a movie, popping in a frozen pizza, and forgiving yourself.

There are always things that seem imperative on the surface, but when you look at today as just one small part of your entire lives together, and a very small part of your child’s entire life, you can see more clearly what must be done right now, and what can be put off until later depending on the circumstances at hand. Sometimes building a kitchen table fort is just more important than picking up the toys and having them all neat in the toy box before bedtime.