Sometimes as parents we unintentionally expect more from our kids than they are capable of giving. It is important to know what age-appropriate behavior is for them at this stage in life and that they are learning from our interactions with not only them but the cashier at the store or how we speak about authority figure in our lives.
So let’s first hit on age-appropriate expectations. I think when our children are toddlers, we know that we can’t expect a whole lot from them, and we realize we will be teaching them how to behave in different situations throughout the day. But as our children enter preschool, elementary school, and especially high school, we lose sight of the fact that they are still learning. Their brains are not equipped to perform some of the tasks that we expect from them. I am not an expert on child development, so I have put some links below. If you are interested in knowing whether your expectations are too high or even maybe too low, please take the time to look them over and compare your expectations to what you learn. Also, keep in mind that some kids develop more slowly than others. So you should think about what you see in many areas of their lives to evaluate where they truly are in their developmental.
Going back to modeling the behavior we wish to see. If we are not showing them how we manage our emotions when stress is running high, they will not know how to manage their own. If you tend to get angry easily, it might be wise to look into anger management classes or counseling to help you better know how to manage your anger. This is not only important for teaching them how to manage their own anger but also to make you approachable to them. Sometimes our kids are scared to come to us because they are afraid of what our reactions will be, but if we want to have a close relationship with them, we need to change the way we respond when they tell us something we do not like. Remember none of us is perfect and your reaction can either foster growth or shut down their processing so they are more or less stunted from the experience. I know how hard this can be, but I also know how rewarding it is when we get it right. Hang in there. We are just learning as we go. There is nothing wrong with showing your child that you are able and willing to learn and grow along with them.
If you have any insights to share with other parents or have questions, please feel free to leave it in the comments section or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.