Friday, August 3, 2012

What Do You Expect?

Seriously! What do you expect, what are your expectations for you children? I am struggling with this, big time!
Yelling. I am not much of a yeller and don't like it- not to say I do not yell at times. I really do not think it produces much of anything except a sore throat and your kids either shrinking back in fear and/or covering their ears. This should of been my first clue that something wasn't going right, I began to yell more than I ever have. My girls, like me, do not like it when I yell and even ask me not to. Of course, I try to justify it with, "WELL, if you would do what I ask the first time I ask, I wouldn't have TO YELL!!!!", I think we could call this broken record syndrome. Would it still be yelling if I spoke softly in a bullhorn? Anyway...
After several days of increased yelling because after asking my kids the 5th or 6th time to do something and it still wasn't done and/or one small task seemed to take a whole hour instead of 15 minutes- I started trying to figure out what had changed. I thought of everything to do with it being their fault, my fault and both. Then, I thought  it made me cringe a bit, were my expectations to high, unrealistic, unreasonable? I mean it's no secret that Grace doesn't flow as easily from me as it has been given to me.
Once that thought entered my mind, that I had unrealistic unreasonable expectations, it wouldn't leave me alone. I think it was because if this was the case, my expectations being to high, it went way beyond this one situation- it made me question my parenting as a whole. 
Later that evening I asked my husband his thoughts on the expectations I had on our girls. Lupe's response was that although my expectations were high, they were not unreasonable- BUT, he did think I am to hard on them at times. As hard as criticisms such as this are hard to digest, I love that he was able to be honest with me and I was willing to listen. 
After Lupe and I talked, I started trying to figure out how to remedy the situation and keep my sanity all at the same time. The situation that has me beating my head against the wall lately, is their lacking of listening and following through. Lately, I feel as if I am repeating myself way to much to know avail. Do I figure out a discipline strategy when I have to repeat myself more than once? Then I started thinking I needed to approach it from a positive direction and reward them when they follow through without needing to be reminded. Do I ride it out and wait to just get beyond "this stage"? Am I over-thinking/over-analyzing...again!? Maybe my expectations are just fine and my girls need a good......"lesson" in listening. Lupe's suggestion (after he tired of hearing all of my "solutions") was for me to sleep on it and see if the "fog" lifted in the morning.

What is reasonable and what is unreasonable?? Is it different with every child/parent? Is there a standard?
The last thing I want to do is to raise my girls fearful, defeated,  and feeling like they will never measure up. Deep down, I feel like my expectation (in general) is not to be the best and master everything- rather, I want to know that they have always tried their best and given 100%. Even if they "fail", as long as they did their best, I'm good with that.
I would love to now begin writing what I had learned and decided to do. But, I really don't know. Lupe was right, I am to hard on my girls and I am stingy with grace- I am trying to work on this. The situation with them not listening- I am going to try to communicate my a little better and give a clear warning before implementing discipline- all without yelling (this is my commitment to them). As far as my expectations- I truly don't know. I wish someone could give me a clear "Steps A,B,C, D" answer that would produce a wonderful result- I do realize that it is impossible- but wouldn't that be great!! 
What do you expect? What should I expect? How much is okay, how much is to much?
I guess I am going to expect from myself what I expect of my girls: I am going to try my best and give 100%. Even if I "fail" (and I will), hopefully they will be good with knowing I did my absolute best..................

After this post I decided to do a little "experiment" with my children in hopes of us all learning some lessons. Here are the posts that followed- and just so you know, I came close but did NOT lose my sanity!
Day 1: Giving Up Control, A Little Bit
Day 2: Stressing My Kids
Day 3: Was This A Good Idea?
Day 4: Time For The Mess To GO!

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