Monday, March 5, 2012

Cleaning Up Our Expectations

(Book Study:  The Ten Habits of Happy Mothers by Meg Meeker - Habit #7)

Life is messy, clean it up.  Wouldn't it be lovely if everything could be fixed with a paper towel!  

In chapter seven, Meg addresses the messiness of relationships with our children, and the need to set realistic expectations so that we can truly love them.  We know that healthy expectations create healthy relationships, yet we still struggle to establish them.   Although we know that our Catholic Christian values are at odds with the secular culture's values, we don't always recognize when the culture has shaped our expectations or, if we do, we don't know what to do about it, or don't have the courage to do it.  But making the effort to set realistic expectations results in better relationships with our children.  

I am involved in my children’s education, but I am learning to resist some of the pressure.  A few years ago, I told my son’s kindergarten teacher that I didn’t do homework, and as a result, he received poor marks for effort.  But it was still the right decision.  After nineteen years of parenting, I have learned to lower my expectations for academic success.  Granted, some of my children are very intelligent and do very well in school, but not all of them are “A” students.  As I have relaxed this standard, I have enjoyed watching my children excel in other areas of life without guilt.  For example, two of my children have musical talents, and I encourage this interest although it limits their ability to take some academic classes such as third and fourth year Spanish.

Now it's your turn.  Have your expectations changed over time?  How have they changed?  Did this lead to a healthier relationship with your children?  

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