What Kids Need: Expectations

What Kids Need: Expectations

The human psyche default, without any guidelines or expectations, is generally to the negative.  We must have some general guidelines that we provide to our kids to avoid ending up in a sticky mess like this photo.  I don’t know if parents get tired or feel like they can’t do it all, or parents think their kids are excellent and can survive and develop on auto-pilot.  It may be all of the above, but keep going.  I am here today to encourage you to develop some personal standards by which others can recognize your kids.  They stand for a specific type of behavior, and they avoid certain types of lower non-productive conversations.  Others will notice the high personal standards that your kids exhibit.  In moments of decision, kids with high standards pull through while others struggle.

So often, I would hear parents say that kids don’t want the discipline and expectations made of them.  That isn’t true.  Once you work with kids, as I have for many years, you realize that they want structure and expectations, and they like things to be fair.  The only way that things can be OK is to set some standards for expectations.  These can include grades, effort, involvement in sports, music, the arts, or just necessary behavior and treatment of others.  Regularly take time to review the standards with kids and make sure they support them and know why they are essential.

Sit and talk with your kids about their interpretations of the rules that you want them to follow.  Be willing to give a little and let them share their analysis, then try it with them.  If it doesn’t work, sit with them calmly and discuss why it didn’t work and how to modify it.  When kids know their expectations as individuals, they will deliver, but it takes time and effort.  As parents, you can’t give up, even if it means disrupting the peace at home for a while.

I challenge you this weekend to sit with your kids and discuss some basic guidelines for behavior, addressing adults, and dress and conduct in public when you’re not around and see what they can decide.  You may find that they have higher standards than you would have presented.  Enjoy the process, and as they grow and develop, you will notice that they have a certain glow about them when they are with others because of your efforts.  It is well worth it.

For a slightly different take on What Kids Need: Expectations, read this link Expect Universal Support – Dr. Rich Patterson (pattersonphd.com)

Here is a link to 9 Critical Personal Standards Vital for Success 9 critical personal standards vital for success: Free workbook – Joe Prystupa


Yours for Better Parenting,