“We will not accept anything less than 85% from you in the finals”… “You’ve been learning for 2 years, why didn’t you win the first prize?”… “We want you to become a doctor, you’d better get good marks in science”… “I can’t believe you forgot your lines on the stage. It was so embarrassing for us.”…
How many times have we said something similar when our child has failed to come up to our expectations?
Most parents say that they want their child to do well for his or her own sake. After all, their child is the one who will benefit from the success. But is it not true that for us our child’s success is also directly linked to parental prestige and status? Are we justified in burdening the child with our expectations?
Every child is unique with his own special abilities. He may be wonderful in some areas, good or merely average in others and may not do well in certain fields at all. So don’t blindly urge your child to excel in everything. it is just not possible for any one to do this. Set reasonable targets according to this age and ability.
- Have realistic expectations from your child. They should not be too low as it may make the child believe that this all he is capable of. They should be high enough to stimulate his efforts and yet be within reach of his capability.
Don’t coldly criticize your child if he fails to come up to your expectations. Check to see whether it is you who are over-expecting or the child who is under performing. If it is the former, then your criticism is unjust. It will sap your child’s confidence and make him feel inadequate. If the problem is with the child, then find the reasons and help him strengthen the areas where he needs improvement.
Let your child know that it is alright to make mistakes sometimes. So as long as he learns from them and does not repeat them. Missing the mark sometime should only help to take better aim the next time.
Your reaction has great significance to your child. You must find the right balance between being too demanding and being ultra lenient. Over-expectation will make him feel inadequate and under expectation may result in him being too lazy to bother.
Parents have the tremendous power to effect their child’s mind, emotions and attitude. Your opinion of your child has the greatest effect on what the child thinks and feels about himself. It is your responsibility, indeed your duty to make the child feel comfortable about what he is, confident about what he can do and positive about what he has achieved.