GOOD ENOUGH PARENTING

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  The Core Emotional Need Of Realistic Expectation  
 
 

Matthew 6:31-34
31 So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'
32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.
33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.


Ecclesiastes 12:12-14
12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them. Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.
13 Now all has been heard; here is the conclusion of the matter: Fear God and keep his commandments, for this is the whole duty of man.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment, including every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.


1 Timothy 6:2-11
2 Those who have believing masters are not to show less respect for them because they are brothers. Instead, they are to serve them even better, because those who benefit from their service are believers, and dear to them. These are the things you are to teach and urge on them.
3 If anyone teaches false doctrines and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching,
4 he is conceited and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions
5 and constant friction between men of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.
6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.
9 People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction.
10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.


Human mind has so many expectations. Several of them are to please the society and self but very unrealistic. That puts the individual to stress. Parents can be so carried away by the rat race of the world and fall prey to this. With this mind we can burden the children with our dreams and desires as the expectation on them.

The core emotional need of realistic expectation can be defined as helping your children to understand what is expected of them, while giving them the freedom to be themselves. It involves fine tuning expectations so that they inspire and motivate your child.

This expectation cannot be too high that puts pressure on the child or cannot be too low that is uninspiring and conveys a lack of belief in the child's capacity. Some parents may have exaggerated expectations while some may have little or no expectation.

We cannot meet the need of realistic expectation without ensuring that the core emotional need of connection and acceptance is also adequately met. In order to meet this need, children need to consistently and on an emotional level hear and believe the following messages from their parents.

"They have realistic expectations and they know my strengths and weaknesses. They encourage me to do my best, while letting go off the perfectionistic expectations. They help me to achieve balance between work and play. Their love for me is not based on the outcome of my achievements at school. They value my strengths and aspirations even though they may be different from theirs and not as recognised by society. They guide me in taking care of myself and endeavour to ensure that I enjoy life. They truly forgive me when I mess up".

Today's Practical

Kindly ask your child if they feel and believe the above messages.

If the answer for most of the messages is negative, then you as a parent ned to modify your expectation on your child.