5 Things You Should Stop Expecting From Your Child
While the jury is still out on what parents should expect from their children, we tell you about 5 things you should stop expecting from your child.
By Arun Sharma
Parents not only love their children but also put in a lot of effort in bringing them up in the best possible way; for, parents believe that all their effort will yield results in the future in the form of their children growing up into well-rounded and successful adults. As a result, it is natural for them to have expectations from their children.
The way parents bring up their child is influenced by many factors like culture, education, and social status. And, all these factors also influence the level and kind of expectations parents have from their children.
However, more and more parents are now realising the fact that reasonable expectations help a child thrive while high expectations have a negative impact. So, having said that about what you should expect from your child, we list 5 expectations that you should not have from your child.
1. Don’t expect your child to be perfect: Holding your newborn child in your arms and admiring her would have filled you with a sense of wonder and pride. Peering into her bright eyes would have made you dream that she would grow up to be the perfect human.
- Reality check: Are you perfect? No. In fact, no one is. So, stop believing that your child is perfect or pushing your child to attain perfection. It will only give rise to despair and stress for both you and your child. Be charitable and try to understand when your child makes a mistake, and encourage her to learn and improve.
2. Don’t expect your child to be like another child: All parents know that their child has some unique abilities; yet, most parents can’t stop comparing their child with others. And, parents want their child to pick up all the good qualities of the child who performs better than him. Some even go to the extent of belittling their child to try and coax him to equal or even excel the child who is better.
- Reality check: Excessive criticism and disapproval can give rise to anger, resentment and frustration. Guide your child towards discovering his strengths and weaknesses instead of trying to make him follow someone. Also, tell him that you expect him to put in his best in whatever he does, while he works on his weaknesses.
3. Don’t expect instant compliance: Younger children learn the ways of the world by observing their parents. However, as children grow up, they develop their own way of thinking and thus their own unique personalities, which can be quite different from their parents.
- Reality check: Avoid assuming that your child will instantly toe your line. With your guidance and her own experience, your child develops a distinctiveness of her own which reflects in the way she perceives situations and reacts to them. So, give her the space and time she needs to make up her mind.
4. Don’t expect your child to be friendly with everyone: When your child was young, he would have been eager to mingle with everyone around him. However, as he grows up, you find that he prefers being around some and staying away from certain individuals. And, to your annoyance, you find that he isn’t willing to socialise with those he avoids even after you try to persuade him.
- Reality check: Do you get along with everyone around you? Don’t you avoid being around some individuals? Your child has his own nature and likes being in the company of those he feels comfortable with. Respect your child’s choices and allow him time to warm up to those he is uncomfortable with.
5. Don’t expect your child to always be cheerful: At times, you would have enjoyed your little one stomping her feet in protest or sulking and folding her arms for some reason or the other. However, after she grows up a little, you certainly feel a little edgy, and sometimes annoyed, when you see her morose and silent.
- Reality check: Parents feel that since they are always there for their child, and are taking care of her every need and reasonable demand, there is no reason for the child to feel crabby or downcast. Wake up! Mood swings are a part of human nature. Don’t feel upset when your child sometimes acts up for seemingly no reason.
While you will always wish for your child to do things that may be close to your heart, you should also remember that your child isn’t an extension of you. So, give your child the freedom to be himself, but, at the same time, keep an eye on what he is doing and guide him when you feel he needs it.
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