What Do You Expect from Your Child? Have you ever considered the impact your expectations have on your child…do you expect too much or too little?
The following true story demonstrates the power of expectations in children’s lives.
On the first day of school, a teacher was glancing over the student list when she noticed a number after each student’s name, such 154, 136, or 142.
“Wow! Look at these IQ’s,” she said to herself. “What a terrific class!”
The teacher promptly determined to work harder with this class than with any other she ever had.
Throughout the year, she came up with innovative lessons that she thought would
challenge her students because she didn’t want them to get bored with work that was too easy.
Her plan worked!
The class outperformed all the other classes that she taught in the usual way.
Then during the last quarter of the year she discovered what these numbers after the student’s name really were…their locker numbers!
Often times, as parents, we subconsciously factor in our own limitations when looking at the potential of our children. In doing so we then inadvertently set our expectations based on what we think they can do.
For example, if you were not tremendously successful in school sports and concluded that you were not athletic by nature, you might cringe when your child announces a desire to try out for their school’s soccer team.
The fact that your child is quite physically active is subconsciously overshadowed by your feelings of disappointment based on your experience. Based on these unconscious feelings, your expectations will be that your child will also be unsuccessful at sports and therefore lead you to be less than enthusiastic toward their desire.
Children are especially vulnerable to their parent’s thoughts and feelings. And because of the underlying feelings that you carry, your child will pick up on them and either decide not to follow their desire or decide to follow their desire to play soccer but have a diminished level of confidence.
This all stems from subscribing to the mindset that says our children are a product of who we are rather than seeing them as an individual with their own abilities and capabilities.
Research has shown that children will live up to the level of expectations placed upon them. As demonstrated by the example of the teacher who created an entire year’s curriculum based on what she assumed were the children's high I.Q.’s, whatever parents determine their children are capable of is what will set the bar for what their children will strive to achieve.
When you examine the majority of highly successful people you will most often find extremely supportive and encouraging parents in their corner. Parents who allow their children to determine what they want to do, what interests them and then do all they can to help make it happen are honoring their child’s individuality…which is the most valuable gift you can give your child.
As parents, we must set our expectations on our children being the best they can be doing what they choose to do. To do anything else is to risk setting them up for failure.
The first step begins within you, the parent. Freeing your subconscious mind of thoughts and beliefs that are limiting and are passed on to your children is crucial to insuring that their individuality is respected and honored.
The best insurance policy you can obtain is to understand how and where the vast majority of limiting beliefs begin and how they are innocently passed on to our children every single day…beginning at birth!