When I was about to get married my mother and I went on a shopping spree to some outlet malls. In one of them was a store called "Great Expectations". I assumed it was a lingerie store, I guess because the wedding night was all I could think about. Turns out it was a maternity store.
I was very embarrassed.
But that's not the expectations I want to talk about today!
Terry, over at Breathing Grace, has a post up about how in the real world, Christian parents fail to expect enough out of their kids. She says:
Parents expect far too little, even Christian parents. Toddlers are expected to throw tantrums, teens are expected to rebel. Of course, expectations are high when it comes to grades and sports and such. There's just no expectation that they can demonstrate any spiritual maturity, because of their youth. Daughters leave home dressed like streetwalkers, and it’s considered just a phase that they’ll grow out of. Dating is considered the norm. I can’t count the number of times I’ve been warned that our expectations of our daughters is too high. It makes me sad.
I totally agree. And children live up to their expectations (or their lack of expectations)!
I remember once when I was riding in the van to the zoo with my little girls we had a vivid example of this. Also in the car was another couple whose children were about 15 years older than ours and whose children were in considerable trouble at the time.
While in the van, my girls started bickering. Keith warned them. They didn't stop. So he pulled the van over on the highway and took them out of the car and gave them a good talking to. They were petrified and behaved great the rest of the way!
But this couple was appalled. (Remember, Keith didn't spank, all he did was speak to them firmly). "You have to expect that kids are going to bicker," they said. And I replied, "Oh, we expect it. But there's no way we'll put up with it."
And they've always commented on how wonderful our kids are, but they don't seem to see a connection....
What about you? Do you expect your children to behave in public? To be able to sit still in church after a certain age (and what is that age, anyway?). To choose well as teenagers?
And is there a fine line between expectations and pressure? Let's talk about it!
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Labels: parenting, tantrums, teens