I am working in the education sector for past 5 years and interact with school going children and their parents on everyday basis. Parents expectations from children, if realistic, can help the development of children. Children are not only the bearers of DNA they are conveyors of the philosophies and values of older generations and represent the whole family.
They always come up and discuss different issues. The most common of them all is that they want their children to excel in every walk of life. When a child doesn’t perform according to expectations, the parent’s stress level rises.Parents want their children to be the best, hence, they push their children to achieve that.
Somehow, they are forgetting that they are putting their little ones under a lot of pressure of their expectations which becomes too difficult to handle for kids. Parents love their children and want the best for them, they worry about them a lot, and one of the things that parents worry about most is whether their children are hitting age-appropriate targets for behavior.
Parents expectations can motivate children to build a strong mind and encourage them to achieve their best academic performance.
Shivani is an eight year old girl, she has an elder brother who is good in academics as well as extra curricular activities. Shivani is always expected to be like her brother. She is always compared with him and this comparison has affected the little girl a bit negatively. She is becoming fussy, she is not able to concentrate in the class and is always up to some mischief for gaining attention.
Her performance is constantly decreasing, but the pressure from her parents to do well like her brother is ever increasing. Shivani is not the only child going facing this problem. Its one of the most common issues faced by growing children, but, nowadays, its becoming more evident. Every parent wants their child to be nothing but the best.
From the start, a child is put under a lot of pressure to be the best in the class. Their performance is compared with their class mates and their sibling. Parents forget that every child is not the same, so, expecting the same result out of everyone is not practical and reasonable.
We all forget about our time as children, when we were compared to others and used to hate it, but now, as parents, why are we doing the same. We forget that every child has some or the other talent in them and that can be nurtured. Its about accepting the fact that academics is important but other sports and performing arts can also give our children an equally bright career.
It requires a little effort to get into this mind frame, difficult, but not impossible. Parents expectations from children means, parents will make relentless efforts to provide parental guidance and implement supervision, which will help children cultivate good study habits and overcome inertia and other growing pains.
- Learn to accept your child unconditionally – We all have a lot of expectations from our children and if they do not keep pace with them, we are not able to accept that. We forget that this approach affects children negatively and they can only grow in a healthy and encouraging environment.
- Appreciate your child – Positive words always work wonders. Appreciate your children every time they do something good. Even appreciate their effort. It will give them confidence to perform better and your relation will become stronger.
- Listen to your child – Normally, we tell our children what we want them to do with life and forget asking them about their choice. Trust them and help them decide what is good for them rather that dictating terms.
- Do not compare – The biggest mistake that parents do is that they start comparing their child with the sibling or friends. Remember, how much we hated it as children. It only lowers self esteem.
- Let your child explore – Give children space to explore their hidden talents, ask them what they like doing. Who knows, you might be in for a big surprise…
Sometimes parents want their children to choose a career which they themselves wanted to opt for, but could not do so. They want their children to complete their unfulfilled dream. Your child cannot have the same preferences as you had. They might end up with a bad performance in your desired role.
Conclusion – Parents Expectation
As parents, we all have some dreams for our children and want them to be successful in life. There is nothing wrong in this. The problem comes when we want them to be a part of the RAT RACE and follow our directions blindly. We forget about their individuality and their wish and start pressurizing them to do what we want.
Wait and think…. Is this behavior of ours really helping our children grow successfully in life? Are we not making them over burdened, increasing stress and lowering their performance? Its time to accept the talents of our children and nurture them into successful careers. Love your child, make them self confident and self reliant so that they can find their own way to success and make you proud one day!!!
Parents expectations influence a child’s development in multiple ways. Don’t force your dreams on the child & inhibit their growth. Let them live “their” life, not “yours”. So parents out there, here is a piece of my mind - curb your expectations & keep them realistic!