Dealing with Expectations – A Major Issue Between Parents and Kids

Posted on July 24, 2012 · Posted in Parenting

Many parents, especially those in countries where tradition plays a major role, tend to expect a lot from their children. Although this trend is more common in, say, Asian countries such as Malaysia, it also happens in many families all over the world.

Take this common scenario: A parent wants a child to be successful someday, so he forces his child to study about business, even though the child wants to do something else and may be equipped for another career, like painting or music.

Another common situation in which parental expectations come into play is when a parent drives kids too hard in their studies because the parents expect the kids to get good grades at all times.

Dealing with Parent's Expectations

In some cases, the expectations are also influenced by the parents’ own abilities. For example, if a parent is good in sports, he might expect his kids to also follow in his footsteps.

While these expectations are backed by the parents’ desire for their kids to have the best in life, the manner in which these expectations are carried out and enforced sometimes become harmful or distressing to the child. In some situations, like in the first example, these expectations may even undermine a child’s own desires for himself.

What Incorrect Expectations Can Do To Your Kids

Unfortunately, children are highly vulnerable to expectations from parents. Children can easily pick up when they feel they are not meeting their parents’ expectations and are therefore not pleasing their parents. Under such circumstances, only two things will happen.

1. They may decide not to follow their own desire just to please their parents, but with a decreased level of happiness. They will not be able to do the things that make them happy, and will end up living a life they do not want in the first place.
2. They may decide to push through with their own desire, but with a decreased level of confidence. Knowing that their parents are against their desires and are not happy for them will lower their self-esteem.

According to research, it is more likely that children will try to live up to their parents’ expectations and thus take option #1. Unfortunately, this will not create a happy individual and will, eventually, fail to create a successful individual.

No wonder why research shows that majority of the most truly successful individuals are backed by supportive parents. So what should you, as a parent, do to deal with expectations and to show support?

Parenting Tips on Supporting Kids and Setting Expectations

Memory BoosterHere are some parenting tips on how to deal with expectations and use these to make your children not only successful but also happy.

1. Let children determine what they want.
Your child is a different individual from you. He will have his own desires and the strengths and talents to equip him to fulfill these desires. Your role as a parent is to evaluate your children’s own strengths – not your strengths – and find ways to help him further develop these strengths.

2. Help children find their interests.
Early on in life, some kids may not have a clear understanding of what their main interest is. Your role, therefore, as a parent is to help him find this interest. Your role is not to impose an interest that sounds good to you. His interests will be determined by his personality and his skills. But how can you help him find these interests? By giving him opportunities to explore as many possible interests as you can provide. Try bringing your kids to the bookstore to find out what topics they are interested in. Try letting them choose whether to join music camp or sports camp. Always take their opinions into consideration.

3. Set expectations that are in line with what they choose to do.
It is not bad to have expectations, but these expectations should be in line with whatever it is that your kids want to do. Expect them to be good at what they want; this will help them reach their highest potential and achieve their highest desires. But never expect them to be good at what you want or at something other than what they desire.Natural memory enhancer