This is something my husband and I are learning as we parent our three young children.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t have values and expectations for our children. More-so, to be careful with the expectations that you do have for your children. Truly consider the consequences of that expectation.
Will the expectation hurt you?
Or more so, will the expectation hinder your child?
An example of this, is my cute first grade son and his reading.
He has been learning how to read since pre-school (it was interrupted by the pandemic).
My husband and I love to read, and always excelled in reading.
This is not the case for my son.
He is a very bright and intelligent boy. As a mom I see he has such an incredible memory, and he has such amazing critical thinking skills.
But currently, reading has been a challenge for him.
Reading is a frustration for him because it’s hard.
He dreads reading.
We read with him every night, but it’s hard for all of us at times.
We have noticed some improvement, even though it’s small, and I am learning to focus on that.
I realize that me setting a high expectation for his reading, is helping no one.
Instead, I realize I need to praise him for trying every time, because it is hard for him and yet he’s learning to do hard things.
And I am learning to focus on his small improvements. Because those small improvements, over time, add up to be big improvements.
My son is our oldest and we are constantly learning how to “parent,” with him.
I feel bad that my son has felt my stress when it comes to reading…and I don’t want that for him or any of my kids.
So from now on, I want him to keep reading, keep trying, but I don’t want to set an expectation that is untouchable for him at this point.
I see his many talents, which are art, sports, being a good friend, working hard , math and so many more.
Reading will come, I know it will. In the mean time, my parenting advice to myself is to “encourage and support, but don’t set a high expectation that pushes him and me into a frustrating and unreachable zone.”
I don’t know how my other kids will do with reading.
But I can tell you that I will remind myself to do the same with my girls; encourage and support, and focus on all the improvements.
Parenting is an amazing journey, but it also can be difficult from time to time. We are all learning and growing together in this fun adventure we call parenthood.