Realistic Expectations

Some parents have expectations for their children that are too low. On the other hand, some parents place expectations on their kids that are too high. Both are problems, but today I want to talk about the second one.

I am as big a believer in parental responsibility as you’ll find. I blame a lot of kid’s poor choices and behaviors on poor training by parents, but it’s not the biggest reason behind it all.

We need to remember that kids are kids. They are going to screw up…a lot! And that’s good! They need to make a lot of mistakes while they are under your roof so that you can guide their thinking about how to react to mistakes and learn from them. Mistakes are our biggest opportunities to gain wisdom.

Sin is normal. We all sin. Some of us seem to do more ridiculous stuff than others, but it all weighs the same to God. The teen years are especially exasperating as we observe kids doing very strange things that seem to be absolutely void of logic. This is normal. Just expect it. All teens lose their common sense for a period. Don’t worry. It’ll come back. What you can do in the mean time is keep training them. Facilitate some real world problems for them, like money management. Let them waste some money. Let them run out. Offer them a challenging job to make more. That’ll get them thinking. Let them ride the bus to school if they can’t put gas in their own car. Logical consequences now will help them to not need you so much as an adult.