Do you set the bar too high for your children?
I expect a lot from myself and it sometimes worries me that I put my children under too much pressure. How do I know if I have set the bar too high?
I recently started a new job and I am feeling the pressure of not being good enough. After having a bad day during the week, I came home and talked it through with Hubby. I forgot to complete something and I felt like I just wasn’t doing a very good job. It wasn’t until Hubby said, ” Do you think you are expecting way too much from yourself in the first few weeks of a new job?”
The simple answer to this was YES.
I have always set a high standard for myself and become blind to the fact I may be putting myself under too much pressure. It is not something I intentionally do and often I do not even know I have done it. It is my bar and I believe I can set it however high I please. This was my thought until I asked Hubby,” Do I set the bar too high for you and the kids?”
His simple answer was YES but only sometimes.
OMG I never realised I could be putting my children under too much pressure just because I have expectations that are impossible to reach. I know I don’t put high expectations on the kids concerning academics as all four of my kids are very different and I just want them to be happy. However, when it comes to behaviour, laziness, eating, sports, friends and family, I wasn’t sure how much pressure my kids were under.
After doing a little research, I came up with 5 signs to watch closely which can determine if you are putting your children under too much pressure:
When you are constantly fighting with your partner over what is expected from the children. We don’t fight all the time over this but I often think Hubby is not as tough as me when it comes to silly things like keeping a tidy house/bedroom, eating healthy & doing homework, so I will put a tick to this one.
When you are trying to fit too much into your child’s day. Keeping kids busy is one thing but making sure they are a part of everything is too much. All my kids play 2 sports and as far as I can tell, they enjoy it so I don’t think I fill their diaries too much. However, I insist on them sharing their siblings sports by watching each other as often as possible. This means we are constantly busy. Maybe half a tick here.
When you are getting angry or depressed when they don’t live up to expectations in sports or school. As I mentioned before, I don’t so this with school ( at least I don’t think so) but I can sometimes do this with their sports. If I think they haven’t tried hard enough or they didn’t play as a team, I will criticise them. Another half a tick.
When you are taking over their life and every decision in their life. I know this was something I did when they were younger and I assumed every parent did (let me know if I am wrong). As they are growing, they are all demanding independence and I am more than happy to give it to them. Some lessons in life can only be learned by making the mistake on your own. No tick here.
When you are constantly comparing your children to other children. This is something I do but rarely as I want my kids to be able to stand on their own 2 feet and be proud of who they are. This is something I am more likely to do to myself and wonder why I am not succeeding as I believe I should be. No tick here.
My lessons from all this:
- Before I put myself down, I need to assess the situation and see if I am being realistic in my expectations, and this includes my children too.
- Ask someone how I am doing as opposed to assuming I am not doing a good enough job –
- Think before I rouse on my kids over something trivial where I may be putting them under too much pressure.
Easier said than done.
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