The child will be a child
“You make such a mess.”
“Why don’t you sit quietly?”
“You don’t listen to me at all.”
“You don’t have any manners!”
“Why don’t you share toys?”
“You don’t have any patience.”
Have you said or thought any of these for your child?
A lot of frustration that parents experience comes from such and many more expectations.
The answers to these questions are in the title of this article. It is natural and expected that children make messes, move around continuously, jump around in excitement or for fun, are super focused and do not have impulse control to listen to adults and comply all the time. They are yet to learn the social rules and are uninhibited by them. They do not like sharing toys and have to learn to be comfortable with it. They are at the beginning of their journey to learn patience. Note how much difficult it is for us as adults to be patient sometimes, imagine how hard it could be for a child.
Taking all this into account, if we realign our expectations, we may save ourselves from a lot of frustration. Absence of this frustration leaves us with a lot more energy and openness to interact with our child.
Note: Some expectations are necessary when it comes to the safety of our child and they must not be dropped. They can be questioned with respect to whether the child has developed the capacity to deal with some situations in a safer way and then amended.
- For one entire day observe your interactions with your child.
- Make a list of all the expectations you hold in your mind.
- Ask how many of these can be dropped looking at the nature of any child.
- Spend the next day reminding yourself to drop the expectations.
- Notice the difference in the frustration you feel, the energy you conserve and the quality of your interactions with your child.