Mom Challenge week 3: Set Realistic Expectations

Oh my gosh.  I am SO ready for this house to be done!  Painting is almost finished and I couldn’t be happier.  I’ve learned that the only thing I hate more than painting the walls is sanding the walls.  BOO! But carpet gets delivered Wednesday so this is the home stretch!  Woo hoo!  And then I can get my house back in order! And only a week and half until our living room furniture is delivered.  Oh yeah. 
But the challenge.  Are you new here?  Or did you miss a challenge?  No worries you can jump in anytime!  Find the other challenges here.
The goal this week is make sure that you have realistic expectations. If your expectations are too high it only creates stress for both your child and you.
Could you imagine if your boss gave you a job to do that was impossible?  You would work as hard as you could to get it done to the best of your ability only to be brought into his office to be told how all that hard work means nothing.  You failed, you didn’t do well enough, they are very disappointed and well you just aren’t good enough for the job.  I don’t want my child to feel like that!
For example, I want Josh to do well at school.  I know he’s super smart.  And I used to expect him to get straight A’s.  After all he could do it if he worked hard!  But we struggle with handwriting.  Josh works on it at therapy and it’s been improved 100 times over, but it’s not as good as most kids in his class.  For him to write his spelling words twice and do it with ‘A’ level handwriting it would take 2 hours!  Trust me, we did it once.  And the teacher gave it back at the end of the week with a B.  I was so mad!  But I just realized that YES I want my child to do his best all the time.  And yes he is capable of writing them nicely but it was not worth the agony on my part but more importantly his! 
So now, if he does his best that’s all that matters.  His report card has a D+ in handwriting.  But really who cares about his handwriting grade?  (Well I do, but his resource teachers keep telling me to forget it and that it doesn’t matter.)  My child isn’t going to get straight A’s.  We can still set goals but it’s not fair for me to expect something out of him that isn’t realistic.  Now when a spelling test comes back that he didn’t miss any words due to handwriting mistakes we celebrate! And if he misses one,  I don’t nag - “Oh Josh you knew that one.  All you had to do was write it nicer and you would have gotten it right.”  Missed only one - awesome job!  You did great!
So this week look at your expectations.  Is it realistic to expect a 3 year old to not only clean up their toys but to also have them put away in an organized way?  How long do you really expect a 4 year old to last while you are grocery shopping after being out all day running errands?  Straight A’s for your child?  How many activities do you expect your 3rd grader to excel in? 
By adjusting your expectations - and thinking about it through your child’s eyes - it can really help you be more understanding, less stressed and calm in a situation that would otherwise could drive you crazy! 
What expectations do you have of you child?  Are they realistic ones?


  1. Ashley V says

    I definitely needed to read this today. Sometimes I forget that my 3 year old is just that, only 3! She’s so smart and well spoken that I think I expect her to be more mature than she is meant to be at this age. Thank you!

  2. Gina G says

    As a teacher, thank you. It is so disheartening to see how hard parents are on their child. Think of us as adults… are we perfect at everything? Absolutely not. I believe that everyone is great at some things and not so great at other things and this is also true for children. A child who gets straight A’s may not be the best athlete or artist. A child who is very creative may not be the best reader. It only hinders a child to expect them to excel at everything like so many parents do. Teach your child that doing their best at everything is the most important thing and if it turns out awesome then great, if it turns out not so awesome then that is great too. Keep it up :)

  3. Sara says

    I just discovered your blog after seeing it pinned on Pinterest. I’m reading through your challenges, and loving them! Especially this one. I need to read them all, and will then go back and re-read them all again. Thanks-great advice!

  4. Anonymous says

    I came across your blog from pinterest also. But i have to say, I love your blog, I’m going to start the week 1 challenge tomorrow. Thank you so much for all the wonderul ideas.

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