Let Go Of Unrealistic (Any) Expectations From Your Children

No Expectations – Day 4

Some days I wish I lived in a bubble, free from judgments, expectations, and blame but life would be so boring and how I would be able to have a tremendous amount of personal growth?

This whole no expectations challenge is mostly about being incredibly intentional with my thoughts surrounding everyday occurrences and how procedures “should” run through our house. I find myself thinking, “Oh my God, they should know how to do that,” referring to one of my kids when they forget how to do something. I’ve been able to weigh both options this week with either: did they really forget or did they not want to do said chore so they conveniently forget what to do.  It’s about making thought adjustments and then working on detaching myself from the outcome.

I’ve also made huge strides in the area of expecting too little from my children and doing things for them because it would be faster instead of letting them work through it on their own. What I found is when they are given space and I’m not staring at them in the face they are able to complete a task.

Cam (age 4) and I were doing the 50 states puzzles together and before we finished I had to stop and pick up Eli from school. Before I left him (w/my hubby who was working in the office), I gave him the box and said, “You can either wait for me or figure it out by looking at the box.” Would you believe, he finished it all by himself with at least 20 states left? Needless to say, I was impressed and really tried hard not to put any expectations on him. When left to his own defenses, he is able to solve what I thought was a difficult problem in really no time at all.

I believe this challenge is going to open up even more time in my day because I will stop hovering to see if they are doing things the right my way. There will be mistakes but I have to allow this to happen and if they don’t know what to do then have the opportunity to ask instead of being told.

One of my daughter’s chores is laundry and the other day I interjected too quickly when she was doing a load of sheets. I know that we can’t shove the sheets to one side because the machine will be off balance causing it to bounce around the room. I watched her load the clothes in and knew she was going to have an issue before she closed the lid. I stepped in and as I corrected her behavior, I knew I should have let her fail so she would be able to figure out how to fix her mistake on her own.

With expectations, comes a level of control that can cause ill will between both parties, especially as we are starting to come into the sensitive teen years. I want her to be able to figure things out. I believe that is why my mom and I had a great relationship because she didn’t try to control the way I did things. Actually, the only time that comes to mind is the “art project situation” as we so fondly refer to it.

Only one major scar, I’d call that a win.

I know that I have control issues (and even pointed it out frankly this evening while making dinner and expect my kids to know what to do but now I can be aware of when this creeps up and stop it in its tracks before it becomes worse. This challenge is definitely going to be a thorn in my side, but instead of focusing on the pain, I will look to the beauty of the rose blossoming above.


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