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Do we have realistic expectations from our children?

Stay Connected   |  24-Mar-2017

By IC Desk @ Deeksha

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We all have expectations from our children; in fact, it’s good to have since a right degree of expectations helps in nurturing their sense of self-esteem and confidence. It encourages them to do well without putting pressure on them. 

Children of parents who have low or no expectations of them, lack a sense of purpose, direction in their life, and may not be motivated to accomplish anything. On the other hand, when expectations are too high, it leads to an overemphasis on perfection, and children may give up easily or may not even attempt to excel. Therefore finding a balance is important.


How do we find this balance? How do we set realistic expectations? Here are some points to consider:

-       Firstly, we need to watch our children closely, spend quality time with them, to have a realistic view of their potential and strengths.

-       Let’s facilitate the process of goal setting than assigning a goal to them, i.e we encourage them to come up with their own goals. It’s important that we help them break down the main goal into smaller, achievable goals.

-       Recognizing their small achievements of during the process of accomplishing a goal, will ensure they are constantly motivated.

-       Setting expectations also involves evaluating previous performance. Let’s allow children to be the final judge of their own performance. This happens when we encourage them to share their thoughts on how a particular exam went, what do they think they can do better etc.

-       While setting expectations or evaluating their performance, let’s ensure that we don’t compare them to other children and think only about what this child needs, in order to succeed.

-       When children don’t meet certain expectations, instead showing frustration, it’s important to help them come up with a new game plan. We must help them understand that it is normal to have setbacks in life. While we could express our disappointment, it’s important not to dwell on it and to move forward

Setting realistic expectations, doesn’t mean we should set goals which can be accomplished easily, but to set goals that are within the child’s reach. They need to be challenging but feasible and help children feel confident and motivated.

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