Research suggests that what we expect from our children we get. Hence, to expect failure from a child is to breed failure. To expect success is to court success. However, it’s also important to realize that parents should also avoid placing unrealistic expectations on their children.
One parent who has a musical child expects their kid to become the next Beethoven. Another parent with a bright child expects him to get in to Harvard. These ambitions may or may not become fulfilled, but the pressures these parents put on their kids to perform can ultimately cripple them and sabotage their efforts to become even moderately successful in life.
The trouble is, some people expect their children to achieve in areas where they (as parents) excel. Other parents expect their children to succeed in areas where they’ve failed. Thereby, fulfilling thwarted ambitions.
In each of these cases, expectations are being set for children not on the basis of their true abilities, but on a parent’s need. So remember, have positive expectations for your child, but on your child’s terms, not your own.
Thomas Armstrong, Ph.D. is an award-winning author and speaker with twenty-eight years of teaching experience from the primary through the doctoral level, and over one million copies of his books in print on issues related to learning and human development. He is the author of nine books including Multiple Intelligences in the Classroom, In Their Own Way, Awakening Your Childâs Natural Genius, 7 Kinds of Smart, The Myth of the A.D.D. Child, ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom, and Awakening Genius in the Classroom. His books have been translated into sixteen languages, including Spanish, Chinese, Hebrew, Danish, and Russian.