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Having realistic expectations.

Having realistic expectations.

Welcome to the third blog of our family survival kit for creating a better work/life balance while working from home. In this blog we would like to zoom in on “having realistic expectations”. We have mentioned this in our first and second blog briefly and in this blog we will give you concrete tips on how to make your expectations more realistic when it comes to being a working parent. 

Nobody is perfect. If your expectations are too high, disappointment can be close. Making realistic expectations as a parent is important because it will help you feel more confident in your parenting skills and your ability to balance work/life. 

Welcome to the third blog of our family survival kit for creating a better work/life balance while working from home. In this blog we would like to zoom in on “having realistic expectations”. We have mentioned this in our first and second blog briefly and in this blog we will give you concrete tips on how to make your expectations more realistic when it comes to being a working parent. 

Nobody is perfect. If your expectations are too high, disappointment can be close. Making realistic expectations as a parent is important because it will help you feel more confident in your parenting skills and your ability to balance work/life. 

To all the parents we want to say that we are here to help you create a more realistic approach to the expectations we as parents tend to have of ourselves. So this week’s tip is to have plenty of interesting things to do at home. Children who have things to do are less likely to misbehave or to get bored and are more likely to play and stay busy. Of course, young children need help to stay busy. We came up with some different ideas appropriate for different ages

For you as a working parent:

For you as a working parent:

Ask yourself the following question: In the current situation, is this a realistic expectation? Keep in mind that there is no such thing as a wrong answer. So be honest with yourself.
The following questions may help:

  • Do I have enough energy?
  • Do I have enough time?
  • Do I really want this?

You might answer all of the questions above with ‘no’, and that is ok!
If that is your honest answer it is important to take that seriously.

For example: I want to have a tidy and clean house every day. But I don’t have the energy and little time to spare. And I don’t want to put lots of work into cleaning every day. 

If I take all of that into consideration, what would be the first realistic step to take tomorrow to have a tidy and clean house? This might be something like; “tomorrow I will do one laundry basket” or “tomorrow I will tidy up the lego together with my children”.

For you as a parent in relation to your child:

For you as a parent in relation to your child:

Ask yourself the following question: “Is it realistic to expect this from my child at this age?”
Again keep in mind that there is no such thing as a wrong answer. So be honest with yourself.
The following questions may help:

  • Can my child fully understand what I’m asking from him at this age?
  • Is my child able to do this at this age?
  • Does my child have the skills? 

Sometimes we as parents can assume our children know how to do certain things. But knowing how to do something and to fully acquire a skill are 2 different things. For instance, a child might know when you ask them to tidy up its toys that it means he has to put the toys back on the shelf. But to be able to come into action and start putting the toys back on the shelf can be a different thing because it means you have to own a skill. This means children will need our help to acquire skills over and over again even when they know what we expect. 

For example: I expect the house to be tidy and clean all the time. It might not be realistic to expect that my children will clean up their toys on their own when I ask them to. It might be more realistic to know that they will keep on needing my support and guidance in acquiring this skill every day. 

Now you have made an expectation more realistic by taking your current situation into account and by being more clear on what to expect from your child at his age. To turn expectations into a concrete plan I would like to refer you to our first blog about “having a family plan of action”.

For all parents, especially all the working parents, we would like to remind you to keep on focussing on all the loving and supporting things you do for your child every day. And if sometimes it doesn’t feel like it, stimulate yourself to name 2 things that you are proud of as a working parent and just 1 thing you would like to do differently the next day.

Working parents you are amazing!

If you have any questions; please feel free to contact us for an online parenting coaching session.