Amy Fortney Parks, PhD – Practice Owner: How do we create positive expectations for kids, teens and parents? Having the expectation that your kid/teen CAN do something, even when it is hard, makes all the difference and how you interact with your child can either accentuate your expectations or create unrealistic expectations. Parenting isn’t always about how much you give your kids but about how much you don’t give. Food for thought… read on to see what our team of clinicians has to say about that!
Kasey Cain, Resident in Counseling – Therapist for The Wise Family: I have always been a collector of quotes. Some of them are poinent and insightful, while others are just silly. Then there are some that read as being a bit cheesy but, upon further reflection, really do hold a nugget of wisdom. One of my favorite quotes has been “Children don’t need your presents, they need your presence.” I can’t remember the first time I heard this or who is credited for saying it first but I know it has stuck with me. Children, really all people, have an innate need to feel significant. One of the main goals and expectations of parenting is to fulfill this need for our children. It is not to buy them things, or to let them have their way. Instead it is to say, “I see you and I am here for you in all times.” We want our children to develop resiliency and independence. We can support this by being a part of their lives and truly engaging with them. It may be hard to put down the phone and really focus on what they are saying. Still, it makes a huge difference.
Amanda Beyland, LCSW – Therapist for The Wise Family: Creating expectations for children is an essential role of parenting. Parents want only the best for their children and along with that often comes big hopes for kids to live up to. A healthy balance is important; setting high expectations can be great to strive for but may also be a heavy burden to carry. This is why it’s key that realistic expectations are set so children feel that they can be successful. Talk as a family about goals and expectations- you can’t manage expectations if none have been provided! Using positive language will help to build positive expectations- try to focus on effort and not just achievement.
Dominique Adkins, EdD – Therapist for The Wise Family: Teens and parents – Do not let the “back to school blues” set the tone for the school year. It is essential to create positive expectations as teens embark on this new year. Each new year comes as an opportunity for a fresh start or clean slate. Remember, your successes and skills worked in the past so reapply them to what is to come. Remain mindful of your present moment and new opportunities to excel. Use your Wise Mind to practice positivity and increase pleasant events. Parents and teens take time to mindfully experience one pleasant thing a day. Positive experiences NOW provide a foundation for positive results!
As always, Be Wise!