My youngest granddaughter, Essie, will be fifteen months old tomorrow. But even at such a young age she already knows, no, she expects her daddy to be on the other end of the phone whenever she picks up a play phone or her momma’s cell phone. She picks it up, says, “Hi, Dada” and then proceeds to kiss the phone before saying ‘Bye”. Essie also expects to see Nanna (that’s meJ) whenever she passes by the computer and calls my name—thanks to SKYPE.
Essie’s expectations stem from what she’s seen and done in the past. It happened before so, in her mind, it should happen again and again.
Your children are no different. They have expectations for things to be the same…to be consistent. Consistency equals safety and security in their world. This is especially true when it comes to you. So ask yourself: how consistent are you? Do you:
- Expect your children to comply with the same guidelines, rules, and expectations at home and in public?
- Expect your child’s guests to comply with house rules rather than letting them get by with things you won’t let your own children get by with?
- Parent consistently; giving your children the confidence that they can expect you to be the same no matter what day of the week it is?
On more than a few occasions I’ve seen a parent reach for their child to put on a hat, zip a coat, wipe a face, or something similar, only to have the child flinch and recoil. There’s only one reason for that: their expectation was that they were going to be hit.
Now while I am not at all opposed to a swat on the behind or on little hands reaching for things they shouldn’t have, being slapped or hit by their parent should never be the normal expectation of any child.
I hope and pray Essie and my other sweet grandchildren never have these kinds of expectations. I hope and pray your children don’t either.
Copyright 2015 Darla Noble. No part of this can be used or copied without permission from the author.