It’s okay to set high standards for your child, but there is such a thing as going too far. Kids are still kids, after all, and if you are expecting them to be adults, you will be disappointed.
If you are expecting any of these things from your kids, you may want to reassess your assumptions.You should not expect your child to:
- Do the job the way you do. Whether it’s cleaning the bedroom, loading the dishwasher or cooking dinner, it’s okay for your child to do things differently than you, even if it’s not up to your standards. At least he is trying!
- Focus on everything you say. Kids are easily distracted and after sitting in school all day, they may have the wiggles. Sometimes, parents, we get a little carried away with our story-telling and our “lectures.” It’s easy to lose them when we do.
- Always obey. Your kids are imperfect humans and they will rebel and disobey. Don’t be surprised or hurt when this happens. It’s part of their search for independence.
- Always be honest. No one has to teach your child to lie, it’s a natural instinct when she is afraid of something. So don’t be surprised when it happens. However, be prepared to redirect her towards the importance of honesty.
- Appreciate you. You may go days, months, or even years before your child expresses his appreciation for you and your sacrifices. It doesn’t mean he doesn’t love you; it just means that he is still rather wrapped up in himself. Parents are probably one of the least appreciated groups on the planet.
- Be your confidante. There are just some things that parents should keep to themselves and not share with their kids. Being honest and vulnerable is good to a certain extent; being needy and dependent on your kids for friendship is not.
- Always need you. The older the get, the more they will realize that they can do things on their own. Quite honestly, you do not want your child to always need you; if you’ve done your parenting job right, they won’t need you when they grow up.
Keep your child’s age and ability in mind when you set your expectations. And remember, you are not a perfect parent, so don’t expect more from your kids than you do of yourself.
Janis B. Meredith, sports mom and coach’s wife, writes a sports parenting blog called jbmthinks.com. Her new booklet 11 Habits for Healthy and Positive Sports Parents is available on Amazon.