As parents, we all have dreams for our children – visions of what they will do, be, and accomplish in life. Our dreams are based on our hopes – and there is nothing wrong with that! Our expectations, on the other hand, should be firmly grounded in reality. When setting guidelines for your child, whether for chores, homework, or behavior, ask yourself two important questions:
- What can my child do now?
- How can I challenge her to get to the next level?
Setting reasonable expectations, based on her development and motivators instead of on where she “should” be in comparison to her peers, sets her up for progressive success. When you determine what she can do now, and then use that as a base on which to build, she will avoid an all-too-common cycle of constant failure.
Your child uses expectations as a stepping-stone. She may not achieve your dreams – but with your support and help – she can achieve her own, at her own pace, one step at a time!