As we are now nearing the end of September, most children have been back to school now for a month. As I have been working with children, youth, and adolescents at our practice at Loudoun Counseling and Coaching in Sterling, VA; a theme that has come out is children not knowing their parents’ expectations for them.
Parents, you are the best protective factor for your children against bullying, suicidal ideation, violence, and so many other things that children face in our society. Parents you are the best advocate your child will have. Parents, I also want to commend you for raising children in today’s society with so many uncertain outcomes and challenges faced.
So parents, I want to ask you, do you have any expectations for your children? And, if you do have expectations for your children, have you communicated those expectations to your children? Parents, do you have expectations for your children regarding school, interacting with their teachers, friendships, and following house rules? As you engage with your family during Sunday family dinner, think about your expectations for your children and talk to them about those expectations.
Here are a few suggestions on setting expectations for your children:
1. Identify 1-5 expectations for your children. Anymore than 5 and they will not remember them. The expectations can be surrounding school/grades, following house rules, interaction with teachers and other school personnel, friendships/interactions with friends, your hopes for them for the future.
2. Identify 3 basic house rules for your children.
3. Talk to your children about the expectations and house rules, and make sure they are realistic for your children to meet.
4. Post the expectations and house rules in a place where they can be seen daily by your children. This can be as simple as getting a piece of poster board and writing the expectations and house rules on it and then posting it in a place in the house where your children can view them daily. This way, you do not have to constantly remind/nag your children about the expectations and house rules, and this puts some responsibility back on your children.
Talking to your children about your expectations for them and the house rules, will also help with anxiety they may have about performance at school. Having this open dialogue with your children, will strengthen your bond and relationship as parent/ child, as well as provide some stability and structure for your children. For more assistance with setting expectations for your children, listen to the WednesdaysWithTheDoc Podcast Show available on Apple Podcast and Google Podcast.
Here’s to creating a stronger bond and relationship with your children.
Creating Lifestyles for Success,