During the Christmas holidays, we occasionally experience a sadness or great disappointment because someone, or something, does not meet our expectations. However, after some thought, we might find we failed to clearly express those expectations. Then, too, perhaps our expectations were unrealistic.
In the same way, a parent’s expectations may be unrealistic for their child’s age, capability, or social maturity. Parents might expect too much, or they do not expect enough. In addition, some children do not know what their parents expect of them.
Parents need to verbally express to their children any expectations they have, particularly those concerning behavior. Some parents seem to think their kids can pick up what is expected by osmosis; perhaps from the discipline imposed, or by using the psychologically damaging and unfair comparison to another child, i.e. “Why can’t you be like …?”
In order to help express parental expectations, let me introduce The 3 Rs for Success in school. I’m not talking about the pioneer country phrase of Readin,’ ‘Ritin,’ and ‘Rithmetic. Instead, I am referring to Respect, Responsibility, and Rights.
Parents, a good place to start is explaining how, and why, you expect your children to show respect. First, help them understand the need to show respect for their peers’:
- RIGHT TO LEARN
- RIGHT TO BE SAFE
- RIGHT TO RETAIN THEIR POSSESSIONS
The right to a public education is an integral part of our country’s foundation. Behavior that intentionally causes distractions in the classroom tramples on the rights of other children to learn. It is imperative that children be taught to respect those rights.
It is also vitally important that students know they must respect the safety of their peers on the playground, in the classroom, or on the way to and from school. Be sure they understand that the mean behavior some children consider “fun” (snide remarks, name calling, threatening, taking away possessions for a game of keep-a-way, etc.) is actually a form of bullying or harassment and will not be tolerated.
We can teach our children how to respect another person’s property by either leaving it alone or taking care of it.
Next time, we’ll continue to analyze other points of respect. See you then.