Are your family expectations realistic? Are you hoping for the impossible?
As you spend the month of November focusing on #Family, you can get even clearer about what you are wanting to see happening on a daily, or weekly basis, ultimately creating the calm, connected environments you want for your home.
Having an intention of what you want for your family is a great place to start. Making sure that it is realistic, based on the ages of your kids can really minimize challenges.
What’s just as important, is communicating those expectations to the children, clearly and consistently. You may think that just having their duties written down or nagging them about the same things every day means that they know what is expected. In fact, they do – but it might not be what you think!
If you are nagging your kids every day, they know to expect your nagging. They know that you will take responsibility for tasks not done, including the nagging and possibly even doing things for them.
It’s not hard to imagine a mom walking into a room, saying, “Guys, it is your job to hang up your coats!” as she picks the coats up off of the floor and hangs them on a hook. Her kids will definitely know that hanging up the coats is mom’s job, even though her expectation if for the kids to hang them up on their own.
Clear expectations help each family member to learn about personal responsibility. The kids learn to take responsibility for their chores and the parents learn to clearly define what they will and won’t do.
With older kids, part of the teaching of those tasks involves teaching them how to remind themselves to do the work (especially when they are home alone.) Will they set an alarm on their phone? Will they leave themselves a note? If it is always the adult’s job to remind the children, then the responsibility falls back on the adult.
Of course, whenever we are setting expectations, we are also setting consequences; the positive consequences of completing an assigned task and the negative consequences of failing to accomplish the task. That way, when a child makes a mistake (which happens to everyone from time to time,) the parent doesn’t have to rant and scream, but simply follow through on the consequence (which hopefully includes the completion of the task by the child.)
This week, ask yourself these questions:
Are my expectations realistic for my child’s age and ability?
Does my child even know what I expect in a certain situation?
Have we clearly outlined the consequences for following and not following expectations?
Am I nagging my child or doing tasks that I’ve assigned to someone else? What am I going to do about it?!
We help parents with this all the time! Email us back and we’ll help you to get the calm back in your home!
Do you struggle with consequences? We have the perfect recording for you to help you.