Behavior Expectations~Do You Have Any For your Child?

It is the busy season for The Wild Mind.  I have a day job that I love and which keeps me busy enough.  In addition, I am in the process of  branching out to include teaching and working with adults.  Currently, I am teaching a series of workshops on creating a positive home climate.  Everyone wants it. How do we achieve it?

Clearly a big piece of this focuses on behavior expectations for children, and how it is handled when the child does not meet the expectations.  Research shows that it is best if parents, teachers, caretakers adhere to a set of 3-5 clearly stated expectations.  As an educator, I intuitively understood this when thinking of my students and my classroom environment, but when it came to my home?  No way!

Over the last 4 years, I’ve changed my tune entirely.  Not only did I come to realize in my rejection of the three simple rules idea, that I actually had many more rules and expectations for my students than just the three.  This was in impossibility to enforce and, as such, it never really was enforced.

I now have three expectations in my home:  Be safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible.  These expectations drive everything we do and how we behave in my home.  After all, am I not, as the only adult in my home, the key player in my home for providing clarity and order.  Am I not the one tasked with trying to make sure my children are prepared for adulthood and successful in life, especially once that life no longer involves me reminding them of all they must do?

I’ve mentioned my 3 expectations.  They are not the only ones out there.  I know this.  They are just the ones that work for me (and there is some research behind them that indicates that they really work for many others).

Have you stopped to think about what your expectations are for your children?  How many expectations  do you have?  Are they clearly written somewhere?

7 thoughts on “Behavior Expectations~Do You Have Any For your Child?

  1. Great questions. I haven’t explicitly stated my expectations yet, and I am not quite sure what they are!

    I think, though, my expectations would revolve around respect. Respect and honor. I think those two things cover a lot of ground.


  2. So interesting – my kids are two and four, and I’m just experiencing how much they learn from sources other than me – it amazes me what my four-year old picks up from his peers at pre-school. I’m trying to figure out how to give him the tools to process and understand and use his own judgement about what he hears… a big job for a little guy!

    Saw you in MBC writers group – will be back :).



  3. As a parent of teens, the expectations have been long established. It doesn’t hurt to remind them now and then, and adjust them – flexibility being essential. But if you’re lucky – you’ll see them meet and exceed your expectations, more and more as they engage a larger world.


    1. I agree TKW! Kindness is so important. You’ve also just demonstrated one reason why I love the three rules of Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. Kindness is one of the many ways respect demonstrates itself, isn’t it? I make sure to make that connection for my children when I see them being kind. I feel it is important to connect behavior with the life lessons we want our children to absorb. There are many ways to say this but one such way goes something like, “That was very kind of you. When we are kind, we demonstrate respect for others and who they are.” Obviously, I wouldn’t phrase that to a teenager quite the same way I might to a four-year-old, but I think you get the idea. Teaching kids respect and kindness in a world where they are bombarded with the very opposite is no easy task. I applaud all of us making the attempt. It overwhelms me at times! 😀


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