The Parental Expectations Trap

The Expectations Trap

Expectations can do one of three things to a child:

a. crush them before they even have a chance

b. cause them to rebel against said source of expectations

c. or push them into being something more or achieving more.

If you are in some way related to a well-known, famous, etc… type person and if you are their child, so much the worse. Because you undoubtedly know all about expectations. Even when said family member doesn’t lay it on you, everyone else around you or who comes to associate with you does or in some way relates you to that. There is just no way around the associations and ideas they have formed about YOU because of that relation. Everything becomes weighed and measured instead of taken for what it is.

And when you finally come to realize that you just can’t meet up to those expectations…it’s an ugly day if you take it wrong, and a liberating one if you happen to realize that they are chains that have been weighing you down for a long time.

You see this a lot in the artistic world, you see this in the business world, you see this in the political world, you see this in the military world. You see it pretty much everywhere.

So recently as I have been walking around with my daughter, I was surprised to find myself going “I hope she’s this, I hope she’s that…” “Will she want to do this…or that” “Maybe by the age of six she’ll have a platinum record.” Sort of just kidding on that last one…but you get the picture.

Expectations are a dangerous weapon for any parent to wield. Those who have lived under them know just how damnably frustrating they can be.

So after pondering the matter greatly, I’ve decided that I only have two expectations for my daughter:

1. To be a kind person who respects the rights of others and helps those who need help when she can. (This includes the natural things such as good manners, etc…)

2. That she pursues her own dreams with a fervor and never accepts others limitations of her.

Hope everyone is having a ___________ holiday season.

Best,

DSW

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