At the moment we decide that we want to be parents, unconsciously, we begin to develop great expectations towards that baby we want. Doing so is inevitable, but the problem arises when that son or daughter, at birth, does not comply with everything we had imagined. Throughout the nine months of gestation, or even before knowing that we are expecting a baby, we conjecture how we would like it to be physically, what kind of personality, skills or abilities it should have and we even fantasize about the profession we aspire for it to choose when it is elderly.
But on many occasions that child does not meet the expectations that the fathers and mothers had created for themselves. Recognizing that he is much more timid, active, impulsive or short than what is desired generates a lot of frustration and makes parents feel a great emptiness inside.
The expectations that the parents have and project towards the minor give a false sense of security about what will happen. Unrealistic ideas, often full of their own fears or longings, which fill parents with anxiety, frustration and disappointment and children with impotence, fear and loneliness. Some thoughts that end up incorrectly modulating the identity and knowledge of the child, and that seriously hinder its development. Children deserve and need their reference adults to be able to expect great things from them, but without feeling pressured or constantly evaluated. They are not an extension of their parents, but independent individuals with the right to behave and live the life they want.
The problem arises when the preconceived ideas of the adult narrow the path and limit the margin of the child, putting the needs and claims of the parent before respect for personality and freedom. A child should feel that his reference adults accept him as he is, without buts or pros. That help you identify his strengths and improve her needs and weaknesses without disqualifying him or filling him with labels. They don’t judge his mistakes when he makes a mistake, but offer him all the support he needs. That validate his emotions and help him make the right decisions.
If a child feels that he is never up to the expectations that his parents or those closest to him have for him, he will live in constant dissatisfaction and will have low self-esteem. In constant suffering and enormous unhappiness. He will show many difficulties to correctly manage his emotions and will grow up feeling that everything he does is below what is expected of him. He will grow up with the sole desire to satisfy the wishes of his parents, creating a lot of internal tension and a continuous feeling of failure, guilt and unhappiness. To which is added that unwise expectations will cause a distance between parents and children and an insecure attachment.
On the other hand, if the child feels that the expectations that are established about him are positive and correct, he will have self-confidence or show motivation to obtain good results. He will feel accepted and free to try everything he wants.
Keys to establishing correct expectations towards a son or daughter
- Being aware of the expectations, desires and fears that parents have in relation to the child’s future and the damage they can cause if they are not correct. They must accompany the minor in a healthy and affectionate way, making them feel valuable. Reinforcing everything he does well and helping him overcome difficulties.
- Each child is different and has their own pace of learning. If he is respected and given the time he needs to learn, he will become an autonomous person, capable of doing things for himself and striving to achieve everything he wants.
- Accepting the child without prejudice, recognizing his individuality will encourage him to reach his maximum development and potential. The love and affection towards him should not be conditioned by whether or not he meets the expectations that the adult has devised. A child who feels loved will tend to be brave and capable of working for everything he sets out to do.
- As adults, children must be made to feel confident and secure, encouraging them to have their own dreams, to be autonomous, to learn to face difficulties and resolve conflicts without fear of what others will say.
A child was not born to fulfill dreams or to be what their parents failed to achieve. He is an independent person with the right to draw his path without feeling questioned. That is why he needs adults by his side who encourage him to work without fear for everything he wants. As Norman Vincent Peale, an American author of The power of positive thinking, theory that promotes focusing on the good in any situation: “Do not ask anyone to be what they are not. Do not ask or expect from a person what she is, she cannot give ”.
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