6. Have Reasonable Expectations for Your Child
Many times, kids have trouble meeting behavioral expectations because we haven’t equipped them for the situation. Is your child hungry? Tired? Overstimulated? Unwell? Struggling with a friendship? Confused? Feeling defeated by a more challenging subject in school?
What kind of temperament does your child have? Will sitting in a class be hard for them and therefore it’s reasonable to expect the teacher may bring it up as a concern? Is your child shy and expecting them to make new friends on their own may be unrealistic?
It’s important that we take into account who are children are and how they are doing at the moment when we formulate expectations for our kids in our minds.
It is appropriate to have high standards for our kids, but they should be fair ones.
My firstborn is very cautious. New experiences can be very overwhelming to him. This year he participated in his first swim meet and he was exceptionally clingy, emotional, and extremely reluctant.
I could have been frustrated with his problematic response to a “fun” new experience, but I knew that he struggles with the unknown. I helped him through it the first time, not letting him quit, but allowing him the space to cry and stayed by his side.
He swam his first race and LOVED it! I was so proud of him. My pride was not about the time he made across the pool but for overcoming his fear because I knew that was a huge win for my reserved boy!
Having appropriate expectations for my son and knowing that a swim meet would bring out some negative responses helped us both get through the whole thing with a lot more understanding and less frustration.
If we know our kids struggle in an area, we need to allow them the grace to grow into it.
As parents it’s easy to get bogged down in our day to day stressors that we can begin to get slack in the ways we approach our kids, particularly when their behavior is challenging.
Galatians 6:9 reminds us to not grow weary in doing good. We don’t have to get it right as parents every time, but we do have to keep at it--showing up daily, willing to help our kids grow past their struggles.
Amanda Idleman is a writer whose passion is to encourage others to live joyfully. She writes about all things motherhood for Richmond Macaroni Kid, creates devotions for Daily Bible Devotions App, she has work published with Her View from Home, is contributing to a year long marriage couples devotional for Crosswalk, and is a regular contributor for the marriage/family/homeschool/parenting channels on Crosswalk.com. You can find out more about Amanda at rvahouseofjoy.com or follow her on Instagram at rvahouseofjoy.
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