Am I expecting too much?
I hear that from parents of children of all ages. And sometimes the answer is clearly “yes” and sometimes the expectations just need some tweaking.
Parents explain “I just want her to…” “why can’t he do …” why is she so negative?” … “I know she can do this…” “why won’t he listen?”
I think the measure for ourselves as parents is to recognize that new skills and changes in behavior take time. When our expectations for our children become too high, too soon, too insistent -too important to us – our children will react, with behavior that says “no”, “I won’t”, “You can’t make me.”
Little children – big emotions.
And that’s your gauge, your time to slow down, take a break.
For young children have radar and they recognize and react to the stress in a parent – that pressure from us as parents, caught up in our own agenda. So easy to do – sometimes so difficult to recognize. But as Polly Berrien Berends, author of Whole Child/Whole Parent tells us, “What governs a parent governs a child.”
So when we feel resistance, negativity, stress in our children, we need to take a break, and reflect on our own intentions, stress and behavior.
Slow down a bit and check on our connections.
There might be a loose one that an extra hug, a cozy lap, a listening ear, or some playful giggles shared might fix.
Love trumps all.