Kind Mind
Expectations VS. Space

Expectations VS. Space

Setting expectations with our kids and students while also giving them space to explore, is always a tricky balance, for me anyway. I constantly toggle between wanting them to have the freedom to express themselves and honor each child as a special individual, and then feeling the great responsibility of being a leader to children, which means teaching them how to move through the world with respect, kindness, and being a helpful member of the community.


Expectations VS. Space 


What I have learned about myself as a mother, is that this is simply part of parenting in my world. I want both freedom and structure for my kids, and this requires constant self-awareness and shifting gears on my part. And constantly being reminded to let go of old patterns and perfection, and prioritize connection to myself, my values, and my children and students. 


Sometimes I simply have to let go because I am exhausted, and trust that they will navigate whatever it is with success. Even when this fails miserably, I can recharge and have a less reactive connection at another time to instill the values that I know will help build resilience. 


Let me just share this simple example of what I mean, to help you consider how this might show up in your own life. 


We went shoe shopping a few months ago. The kids were excited and trying on new sneakers and were told to run around the store to see how they felt. Nobody set any boundaries around this, and inevitably their energy ramped up to full force. I was working on checking out when they collided and the employee who was helping us seemed irritated. My radar went up immediately and I needed to set the boundary, however, it was not easy or gentle with energy levels so high. 


Was this a perfect parenting moment? No. Did I say or do all the right things? No. Did I respond and offer the best guidance I could to show respect and social attunement to the store clerk? Yes. Did I feel stressed and sweaty leaving the store? YES! 


The point is, finding the balance in parenting is not always consistent. Being present and aware is the best I can do. And accepting this process as part of raising my children. 


Here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind when you find yourself in the same struggle:


  1. Notice your own triggers with your kids and students behaviors, reactions, and emotions
  2. Pause before jumping in to solve a conflict or struggle with a child, remember that self-efficacy builds resilience 
  3. Be kind and forgiving of yourself when you feel like you are failing - remind yourself that you are doing the absolute best you can and that is enough for YOUR child and students 


This week, try to be gentle with yourself if things go awry. Notice the teaching moments and address them when you feel calm and patient, doesn’t always have to be in the moment. 

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