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Disappointment and Expectations in Parenting



I have heard so many parents talk about how disappointed they are in their children. They are disappointed that they got in trouble at school or didn’t get good grades or didn’t make the team, the list goes on and on. Anytime I made mistakes when I was growing up I was told how disappointed my parents were in me. Their disappointment kept me on edge and caused me to become a people pleaser. I didn't think I was allowed to make mistakes. The pressure was emense.


I will never tell my daughter I am disappointed in her, and here is why.


To be disappointed means someone didn’t live up to your hopes or expectations.

Are your expectations in line with theirs? Are you listening to them?


Your expectations for your child may not be in line with the person they want to become. Maybe they don’t want to play a sport or join a team and are doing it for you. Maybe your child isn't good in math but they write amazing sotires. Talk to your children and find out who they are and what they want to do in life. Then, check in again and again because they are constantly growing and changing. Focus on their strengths and let their weaknesses go. No one is going to be good at everything.


Did you really think they would be perfect?


Children make mistakes, we all do. Are you holding your child to standards that their maturity cannot match? The thing is that we all make mistakes our entire lives. No one is perfect and having those goals for your child will set them up for failure. The pressure will cause them to look down on themselves.


You can not expect your child to make the right decision every time. But when they don’t make the right decision, make sure you are there for them. Guidance and redirection will set them up for success in the future.


Is it them you’re disappointed in or their decision?


Chances are, you aren’t disappointed in your child. You are disappointed in the decision they made.

Explain to them why their decision was poor and give them advice for the future. If you aren’t guiding them in the right direction then you have no right to be disappointed.


Remember all the poor decisions you made growing up?


Chances are you made poor choices growing up and you can’t expect anything different from your child.

That’s how we learn, by making our own choices and living with the outcome. Our children haven't been in the same situations we have, and chances are they never will, because this is a different world. They are not faced with the same situations we were. Work with your child and figure out which decisions are best for them. Adjust as needed and continue to communicate and guide your child.



Be there for your child when they don’t get things right.

The best thing you can do is be there for your child. If you belittle them and make them feel bad about themselves, they will not come to you for guidance. They will go somewhere, though. It’s probably not going to be the person who will give them the best advice.



If you have unrealistic expectations you’re only disappointing yourself.

Parent your child and live with love in mind. Give your children and yourself grace, stop being disappointed and know that mistakes and poor decisions are going to be made. What matters most is how you handle the outcomes, how you bounce back. Life is full of changes, that's a given. Embrace change and embrace the person your child is becoming.


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