• 5 Tips on Expectations

    First, list the expectations you have for your children in areas like school, sports, behavior, and so on. As objectively as you can, look at each one and ask, "Is this expectation realistic? Is it too easy or too difficult?" Then ask this tough question: "Does my child feel like he has to excel to earn my love?"

    Second, communicate your expectations positively. Instead of relaying the message, "You must do this ...," give your child lots of "You can do this" messages.

    Third, be aware of your children's strengths, weaknesses, interests and dreams. One of the great dangers of parenting is molding your children into your own image instead of helping them discover who they have been created to be. But a healthy awareness of your children will help you avoid that common parenting mistake.

    Fourth, be a reliable model. When you demonstrate the behavior that you expect from your children, the limits and expectations you place on them make more sense. They know that, when you lay out certain rules for them to follow, you also live by that standard.

    Finally, love your child no matter what. A child who's appreciated and accepted for who he is -- regardless of his performance -- won't feel pressure, but freedom. He'll have the self-esteem and confidence to excel.

Last Modified on September 20, 2010