Have you ever really thought about what is expected out of us as humans? I mean REALLY given it some thought. There are expectations placed upon us before we are even born. Hell, perhaps even before conception for some. We begin with theories of what our children will be like when we ourselves are children. We say things like “I will never do this to MY kids” or “When i have a little girl/boy I will do this.” It is simply insane to believe that expectations are not placed upon us before even our basic abilities are even seen. We are expected to crawl, talk, walk, and read at a certain age. We are expected to kiss, hug, and love a certain way. Expectations change per sex, per country, per part of the state even. It can be a weight that we carry around with us when our parents expectations are heaped upon us over the years. Don’t worry I’m guilty of this too. For example, I say innocent enough statements like “I expect you to clean your room today.” However, did I clean my room? We give our children a list of things to accomplish in a day and yet they do not complete that list, but did we complete our lists? Children with disabilities require much more time, redirection, and attention than typical children. It gets tiring. Sometimes we forget that our expectations of our children exceed their capabilities. Again, it is something that even I am guilty of.
Especially with my daughter. My daughter may have high functioning autism and a normal IQ, but she still has autism. I expect her to act like a 10 almost 11 year old, but she’s not. There are pieces of her that are way beyond her years, you could call her an old soul. However, there are parts of her that are way below her years as well. It must be horrible to be so confused by the expectations that are given to you..forced upon you even. She does the best that she can. It is heartbreaking to see the internal struggle; therefore, I do many many activities to try to help from social skills classes with psychologists (that are not cheap) to robotics camp, swimming lessons, and so on. It is physically, mentally, and monetarily draining just to try to socialize my child.
I question this all the time. My daughter would be just as happy sitting at home, playing with legos getting ready for her robotics team. Sometimes I know that some of our struggles is just my issues. This is what taking my children to social skills class and attending the mandatory parenting class has taught me.
I paid good money to learn that WE place the MOST expectations and the greatest unachievable expectations upon OURSELVES. As parents sometimes what we are most upset about is not our children’s failure, but our failure. I have started to come to believe a few years ago that children do not fail. It is an interesting concept, because that can translate to that as an adult we have not failed. Perhaps as parents we do not give our children the tools they need to succeed, because we ourselves were not given the proper tools as children to become appropriate adults. It is humbling to know that I (we) do not hold all of the answers. I have found recently that forgiving myself of my short comings I am becoming a better mother. A more aware mom. A mom the knows that she does not know it all. It is ok to admit that we as parents have weaknesses, and that we are not without faults.
One thing I have found in all my years of therapy with my children is that consistency is the key for a loving relationship with your children. I have expanded on that thought: Being Consistent in your love. Giving your children your love at all times does not mean giving them attention at all times or catering to them. It means by setting boundaries and providing clear direction with plausible consequences our children learn to respect us, themselves, and others. We show our children how to behave. Give them a parent to respect. If you yourself do not act respectful to others how do you expect your children too?
Be the beauty you see in your little ones!
Love with Consistency!