How do I set expectations or goals for my child?

Parenting can sometimes seem like a tight rope walking exercise – trying to balance what you say, when to say, how to say and how much you say.

But once you have practised and got the basics in place it becomes smoother and easier. Its just about getting the balance right and then the ride becomes enjoyable!

Parents use various ways to motivate their child, from trying to set goals and expectations that are extremely high and unimaginable for their child or such low expectations that they think might propel their child to high achievement. Unfortunately both ways in the long term do not serve beneficial.

Expectations can also play havoc in any relationship and more so when it comes from parents who are living their unfulfilled dreams through their children. Most literature is around high expectations however, recently while coaching many families where there has been a complete breakdown in communication the prime culprit has been LOW expectations. When parents face the reality of their ‘actual child’ versus the child they dreamed of, their expectations hit rock bottom and they begin to see him as incapable of doing anything well.

In this blog I have shared with you how to create a balance in expectations and how to focus on your child’s strengths to motivate and propel him to greater heights.

1. What kind of expectations are you setting for your child? Are the expectations so high that it is way beyond his imagination and reach that it actually has the opposite effect of breaking his confidence?

2. Are you setting expectations so low that your child has no belief in himself or his capabilities? Labels like clumsy, lazy, butter fingers, poor at maths etc become a self fulfilling prophecy where the child becomes what the parents label him to be. The child internalizes the labels and unconsciously works towards living those labels.

3. As parents set expectations to encourage your child to be motivated and encouraged to work towards his goals. Eg. If you child has got a 60% in maths encourage him to work towards 65-70% in the subject versus trying to set an unreachable goal of lets say 90%. If your child has started sharing his toys with other children, point that out to him so that he is encouraged to share again. This can be applied to your child’s academics, his behaviour or any other sphere of his life where you as a parent are trying to inculcate new habits.

4. Create the space for your child to feel encouraged to work towards his goals and expectations by your energy and words. Show trust in your child’s abilities. Focus your child’s attention on his strengths so that he can use those to work towards taking himself to the next level.

Action: If you want help as a parent to understand exactly how you can set expectations and motivate your child email: sunainaathena@gmail.com to book your coaching session NOW!