Are your Parental Expectations Realistic?

Are your parental expectation based on the overall strength, talent and interest of your child? Are these expectations attainable? If not, What have you done to curve your thinking to benefit the needs of your child? As a mother of two boys I often ponder these questions to ensure I am making the right decision that are in line with God’s promises over their lives.

What Are Expectation?

As defined in the Oxford dictionary Expectation is an assumption or belief imposed on someone's life that they will or should achieve something. Often times we put pressure on our kids because we are trying to live vicariously through them. Sometimes parents shift their unfulfilled dreams and goals onto their kids wanting them to meet expectations that were never their aspiration. At times we even impose ideology and beliefs on our children based on the community norm in which we live, along with our personal beliefs or judgements about our kids future goals and success.

What Is Realistic Expectation?

Realistic expectation is a goal that is achievable. Expectations that are in line with your child's individual strength and ability. Realistic expectation accepts the fact that our kids are human and will make mistakes along the way. Its ensuring that we navigate our children through life’s challenges by allowing them to find solutions to problems that arise and accepting their mistakes as a natural process. When we recognize our kids strengths and weaknesses we are able to direct our attention to encouraging them to achieve goals that are in line with their natural talent.

Unrealistic Expectation

Unrealistic expectation is something that is not real. It's inappropriate to reality and facts as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unrealistic) . High or low expectations can negatively affect children when we create standards that are not realistic to the nature of our kids. Unrealistic expectations that are not attainable to our children may hinder their growth and/or cause mental health issues as noted on Psychcentral in an article written by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. (https://psychcentral.com/lib/how-to-relinquish-unrealistic-expectations/#:~:text=%E2%80%9CUnrealistic%20expectations%20are%20potentially%20damaging,in%20negative%20ways%2C%20she%20said.) For example; when a toddler throws a tantrum we tend to get angry or frustrated at the child because we expect them to act in ways that are not realistic to their psychological development. Tantrums usually happen when a toddler is unable to express themselves because they have not yet developed the ability to understand or express their own feelings. However, i believe parents can develop methods that are realistic to each child's psychological development. Most times children try to impress us as parents because they want to make us proud which may affect a child in an unhealthy way.

e.g. "I only graduated and continued university because it’s what my parents wanted."

Try developing standards that are not too easy or difficult to encourage your kids for future success. As a mother I strive to develop a strong parent child relationship so I am able to recognize their strengths and support them in the area that is inline with their interest or talent.

Positive Parental Expectations

Parental expectation (aka parental standards) is not all negative. I believe kids need parental expectations that are within means of each child's development, characteristics and goals. Kids need structure and guidance to maneuver through life and it is our responsibility to help guide them to a path that is promising for a successful future. At times I find myself falling in the trap of steering my son into a path to which I desire for him, not realizing that I have began to project my unrealistic expectation onto him. Parental expectations are to be attainable and achievable and should not compromise our child’s character. It encourages kids to want to accomplish goals that are based on their own personal interest and eliminates the feelings of being pressured and judged. I believe a sense of trust and security can be developed once a parent is fostering their child's development based solely on their kids specific needs and skill set.

How to Facilitate Kids into Developing Good Habits

I believe facilitating our kids into developing good habits entails Releasing your children of all beliefs that are completely self pleasuring and focusing solely on their strength and weakness. This will allow them the opportunity to develop and thrive into successful individuals. An effective way of ensuring our kids meet the positive parental expectations are; finding the right resources that nurture them in developing specific skills and talents, having a loving environment, and ensuring you provide them with the right support. This can direct them in a path of success where they can achieve goals that are within their abilities.

To effectively demonstrate parental expectations I refer to the Positive Self affirmation tool I created for my kids. To learn how to write a self affirmation tool please refer to The "start-your-kids-day-with-positive-self-affirmation" blog (https://www.joyofparenting.net/post/start-your-kids-day-with-positive-self-affirmation). As parents we know our children best so develop a method that works for you and your family.

~ There is a sense of Joy in parenting so enjoy every moment as they grow and remember we learn from each other as we go...You are doing an awesome job! ~ 🙂


~Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.~ Proverbs 22:6