When I'm out, I often see struggles happen between parents and children which are simply caused by the parent having an unrealistic expectation.
This makes me so sad for both of them!!!
What I'm talking about here are struggles where if the expectations, the environment or the circumstances were changed, the conflict or difficulty for the parent would completely disappear.
It makes me incredibly sad to witness those struggles, tears and fights which would never even show up in a different family simply because the parent's expectations are in alignment with what’s realistic for a child that age, of that temperament or in that situation.
One thing that’s guided my parenting and has been so helpful to me has been to look at my children from an evolutionary perspective.
What has been normal for most of humanity, but has completely changed in the last centuries (or even decade!) and now leads us to having completely unrealistic expectations of our children.
Here are some examples:
And here are more situations where I often see parents struggle because they don't have a realistic expectation for their child:
Developing realistic expectations of our children can go a LONG way in preventing struggles in our families!
And similarly as with our children, a lot of the pain and stress that we experience as parents comes from the fact that we don’t have realistic expectations of OURSELVES.
And because we’re caught up in what we think we should be doing, or how we think we should be, we don’t proactively address the real problem.
Where in your parenting do you have unrealistic expectations of yourself?
If you have a hard time seeing it, imagine that the situations with which you struggle are happening to a dear friend of yours, who’s a great parent.
Seriously, picture someone you know and value. From that lens, can you spot some unrealistic expectations?
What insights have you had as a result of reading this article?
Is there anything that you can see changing in your family as a result of it?
Take a few minutes to journal about it!
I'd also love to read your comments and insights if you post them below!
Did you enjoy this perspective?
Then I suggest that you request my FREE report: The Almost Magical Formula For Surprising Ease and Harmony in Your Family While Fully Honoring Your Children’s Spirits.
It describes the four essential principles I teach, which when used together, truly lead to astounding ease and harmony in families.
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