The art of setting realistic expectations!
Unrealistic expectations creep up from a place of love and wanting the best for our kids. Sometimes, this happens even to the aware parents among us, unknowingly. Someone, smart said that “Two things can destroy any relationship: unrealistic expectations and poor communication.” This is true in parenting as well. Expecting your kids to be great artists, get brilliant grades in academics, win the next mini marathon at school and some more accolades all at once could pressurize your kids to no end.
However what do we do, in this case? For, as parents, everyone naturally wants their child to well. Is that wrong? Absolutely not. Is it wrong to push your child to find his/her highest potential? Definitely not. If parents don’t give wings to kids, who will?! However, the trick is in knowing when are we gently nudging our kids to do well, in academics or in something that they enjoy doing, and when are we pushing the buck too much.
Our love must not push us into setting up absurdly high expectations from our little ones, because all that does is create unpleasant pressure on our kids and bog them down. It is detrimental to their self esteem. However, we can’t not have any expectations from them at all. So here’s a short guide for you to set realistic expectations from your kids:
- Understand the strength of your kids. Even in academics, they would be good at something: they could be great storytellers, natural wiz at math, might have a love for languages, or could simply like to learn new things when taught in the right manner. Hone those strengths and help them “comfortably” get better at academics.
- Set small incremental goals. If a child scores 50 percent marks, expecting her/him to score 75 percent the next time is unrealistic. Inspire them to grow slowly and consistently, the latter being the key here. This will help them throughout in life and not just during exams.
- Expecting kids to make little changes is good, but big profound changes do not happen quick. Give them time to bring in the big changes, after you give them a road map to attain them; however, ensure that your kids are in on this plan with you.
- I hate to break this, but being overtly competitive parents is going to drive your kids to anxiety, if they are already struggling to do well. We need to let the kids breath. Help kids make incremental changes.
- I don’t want my child to watch TV or play with a mobile phone or eat chocolate ever. Well look at the world we live in. Kids not using devices these days and not watching TV at all is unreasonable. Extremities never help anyone. Moderation in everything is key. Work, fun, food, life.
- Help your kids find out what they are good at and set realistic, reasonable goals for them to excel at honing their skills. Wouldn’t you want that for yourself, if you were to learn a new foreign language, a new dance form, or even get into a completely new profile at work. Our little munchkins are no different!
Okay before you throw the “stop preaching” bat at me, I will tell you to check out our videos in our parenting course and scoot! Come on, we love you and only want the best for you and your kids. So say no to unrealistic expectations in parenting!