Communicating Expectations

What do you expect from your kids? How do you communicate your expectations to them? Let’s talk about what’s reasonable and what’s not today.

All parents expect certain things from their children. But expectations that are too high, too low, or never clearly expressed can cause a challenge or two, or many. Having expectations that are too high promotes failure rather than success and leads to an enormous amount of stress for both you and your kids.

On the other hand, expectations that are too low can lead to failure, too, because they don’t help your children to stretch their capacities and develop a sense of competence and resiliency. Most important of all, it is vital that you talk to your kids about your expectations and spell them out as clearly as possible.

If you expect them to clean their room once a week, make sure they understand exactly what “clean” means and which day of the week they need to have it done by. At the same time, tailor your expectations so that they are realistic and appropriate to that particular child at that particular stage of their development. What is right for one doesn’t necessarily fit another and what was reasonable ten years ago may no longer make much sense.

By the way, if you expect your kids to share certain values you cherish such as honesty, confidence, and dependability, make sure you serve as a good role model, because even when they may not seem to be listening to what you say, you can bet they’re paying close attention to what you do.

All of this isn’t reserved solely for the children in your life. The same goes for your employees, your other team members, and your partners. And while employees probably don’t need to be told when to clean their work spaces, they do need organizational expectations to be clear and well-defined. Clarity is the grease on the axle of success.