Friday, May 16, 2014

Too High-Expectations

As I walked into the mud room the other day, this is what I saw: 

My daughter and her 3 children live in the apartment we have in the basement. They come through the shared mudroom to get to their place. I was always finding coats on the floor. It was driving me crazy! Now I know, mom walks in with three children, one is a baby, probably groceries, a diaper bag, preschool materials etc. It is hectic coming in the house with 3 little children. Were my expectations too high? Literally they were...

The children couldn't hang their coats up because the hooks were too high! So I solved the problem. I just put hooks lower, explained to the children where their coats go now and problem solved! We have had no more coats on the floor!

This is a simple solution, I understand, but it got me thinking about other expectations. Do we expect too much sometimes from our children?
For example..

Toddlers: We give them a plate of food and tell them to eat all of it. Most times, the portions are what we give them. Is it too much? Toddlers will eat tons at one meal and nothing but a few bites at another. 

Adolescents: Do we tell them to come home from friends at a certain time, yet they don't have a watch with an alarm to tell them what time it is? Do we expect them to constantly watch the clock to be home on time?

Teenagers: What are our expectations with them? Do we think they should have adult brains and adult experiences to make the correct choices all the time? 

I did believe we should teach our children responsibility and teach consequences for our actions, but we shouldn't EXPECT them to always be able to do those things we think they should do. I often hear from parents... "He knows better". This statement is a true statement, but remember how many times you had to be taught before you could make the right choice sometimes. Expect to teach them over and over. 

I don't believe you lower your standards and values in your family, those are strong and stay high! I do believe we sometimes need to lower what we expect of our children. Our EXPECTATIONS can be too high. Remember, they are learning through out their childhood. Have faith in them through struggles (like the coats), problem solve with them and then see what they can do!

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