Do You Expect To Much For Your Kids

February 03, 2017




Every month the high school has their parent meetings, a chance to catch up with what is going on at the school and what our kids need to do to keep moving forward. And every month the counselors that speak at these meetings remind us that our kids are growing up and they should try to focus on things they are interested in so they can choose good careers and have realistic long term goals.
Also at these meetings they sometimes have kids come up and talk about their experience at the school and how they have been able to reach their full potential by having some ideas in mind of what the future can be for them. One of the kids that talked a few months ago mentioned how he went into high school, 9th grade, with 10 high school credits, and kept pushing himself to go further, with the help and push from his parents and family. Now 10 credits is really not too much but I wonder what it took to get this kid to finish that many courses throughout middle school. What kind of plans did his family have for him, or what it just him?
It got me wondering about what I expect from my kids? Trying to find a good balance of high standards but flexible expectations can be a challenge. It is easy to set our kids up for success and then something happens and they are not prepared for that failure or detour.
Are you teaching your children how to deal with a small derailment in plans? If you aren't really sure what those might be then how to you give them the right tools to deal with things? 
I do know parents that have their children's lives all mapped out. They have picked what profession they think their kids will succeed in and have it all set up and the kids do not necessarily agree with the career but do so because their parents are making them. I don't think that is fair. I understand wanting your child to be successful but they have to like what they are doing and have some input on their future.  I will support whatever it is they want but I can not choose their futures for them. I don't want to push him in another direction. I want all of my kids to figure out what they want to do on their own and go for it.


While I think it is nice to have a set plan in mind with an end goal I think it is equally important to have a few options. Lets see, Ill go with my middle son, he is in 9th grade and has been set on joining the Army since the summer before he went to high school. He originally started out wanting to go into the Coast Guard but has changed his mind to Army. It is a great goal and a great future option but I always am telling him he needs to find a back up just in case. He does not seem to understand why I am trying to push him into taking a few classes at the technical school because those are not the things he is heading towards. I have brought up to him that even though that is not the path he has in mind it is good to have certificates in other things just in case. What happens if he is at track practice one day and hurts his leg so he is not able to meet the physical requirements of the Army?
Things that he has little to no control over can change his path in the blink of an eye and I, as his mom, want him to be prepared to have options.
Do you have set expectations for your kids? Or do you allow them to make their own decisions?

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17 comments

  1. I allow them to make their own decisions. I mean yes, I might give my opinion with the knowledge that they might not take my advice.

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  2. If I have children, I will let them choose the path that they wanted to have, with a full support and guidance from me. But, there will always be certain rules and they should comply with it no matter what. They will grow up knowing how to abide any obligations they were assigned to and from there they can easily follow rules wherever they go.

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  3. While I myself don't have kids, I think all parents go through this and it has a lot to do with wanting more for your kids than you had. Those are my two cents.

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  4. I tried not to have set expectations for my kids but to show them options and let them decide what they wanted and support them in their decisions. My older daughter went into college thinking she wanted to become a pediatric oncologist and majored in premed. However after her second year, she decided that she wanted to follow another passion and changed her major. I supported that decision. I think you are right in wanting your son to have backup options, but ultimately we need to let them make their own decisions.

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  5. My kids are all grown up now, two of them are gainfully employed, and one is about to be done with college in a year. I did set expectations for them, but I took into consideration their unique personalities, their learning aptitude, and of course, the budget constraints. I let them decide their own career path, and I only stepped in when I noticed it was not working for them.

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  6. I think society, as a whole, has come to expect too much from children. I am always sad for those kids who spend all their time being shuttled from activity to tuition, 5 - 7 days of the week, because their parents expect them to excel in so many things. No time to be just kids.

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  7. I try very hard to let my children make their own choices...unless I know it will harm them or someone else. It's hard to sit back and watch when you know they may be making the wrong choice but you know they will learn from it in the long run. You always want them to make better choices then we did and excel in life!

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  8. Sometimes I used to be expect from them, but now I'm trying to not expect from them, I just let them to do what they wanted

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  9. I don't have a kids yet, I think all mom expecting to their kids, I think it's normal situation.

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  10. I think it's normal to expect from them because we believe in them. Aside from that, we also want the best for them. But that doesn't mean we should interfere with what they want to do with their life.

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  11. I try not to expect things at all, it leads to disappoint.

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  12. My kids are grown into wonderful adults. I never pushed them I let them be their own person and guide them. Today they both are successful and fabulous children.

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  13. The greatest lesson my mum taught me is the importance of dipping your toe into a little bit of everything until you know what you like. I did sports up until I was about 15 (I wasn't good at it and I didn't particularly like it) but it made me realize how much I love music. I think the best thing to do is let them try a little bit of everything and then they can make a decision on what they prefer.

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  14. I do have expectations. I believe that it is good to have some, but to let them be independent at the same time.

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  15. This is a great post. I think we all expect some things from our kids. You just shouldn't expect to much.

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  16. I'm pretty good about letting my daughter make her own dessisions which is shocking considering I'm a control freak about everything else in life lol

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  17. I don't expect nothing with my kids. I know kids are differents and my 2 boys have a unique personality.

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