I recently visited my son's doctor and like any other person he advanced his hands towards my son for a handshake but my son refused. After a couple of perusals, he gave up and said, “I don’t even expect this from your generation. Greeting adults is possibly the last thing on your list.” He turned towards me and continued, “ I have an 8-year-old son and I have already left him on his own. I have detached myself from him and don’t expect much out of him. After all, this generation is way too smart and they will pave their path on their own. Kuch toh kar hi lega.”
I have read about this many times but I was not sure how many parents actually believe in completely detaching themselves from the kids and not expecting an inch out of them. When I heard this doctor, I chose to nod with a smile on the face and a swirl in my tummy.
I realize that over the years, the parent-child relationship has changed drastically. From authoritative to just attached to completely detached. Similarly, there is a reversal in parental expectations. Earlier parents knew that their children love them. But in stark contrast, today parents look for instances that reaffirm that their children love them. Is it a result of giving up on them completely? Or it is derived from the expectations rooted deep in our hearts?
I believe that expectation forms the basis of the right parenting. If I wouldn’t have expected my son to walk by 15 months of age, it would have never rung an alarm at 16th month. If I wouldn’t have expected him to eat 5 mini-meals a day, I would have never made efforts towards the same. If I wouldn’t have expected him to greet people, I would have never introduced him to the concept of greeting people and paying them regards. If I wouldn’t have expected him to grow up to be a calm and composed individual, I wouldn’t have stopped him from fighting and chose the calmer ways instead.
If we don’t expect a few things out of our kids, their actions will never bother us and we will never make corrective efforts towards their upbringing. Many kids are introvert and they chose not to greet unknown people in the first visit, but most of the kids don’t do it because their parents don’t emphasize its importance. It is very easy to say that nothing is expected out of this generation. But it is tough to live with it.
So always have the right expectations from your kids because expectations result in actions which in turn yield the right fruits. But having said that, know how to draw that thin line between caring and caring too much for your children. That line between expecting and expecting too much from your kids. The expectations should never overshadow your kid’s personality. They should not overpower the emotion of love, compassion, and respect between the parent and child. Expectations should not turn authoritative and overbearing. Setting realistic expectations is about genuinely analyzing our children and helping them grow in their own special way.