How To Manage Your Expectations

June is almost here and with all that the end of the school year typically brings and the summer holidays on the horizon, I feel that it is a good time to discuss subject of EXPECTATIONS. Being able to manage your expectations, particularly during the summer months is vital to being able to minimize some of the typical challenges we face at this time.

I’ll take a bet that there is not a parent reading this who expects the month of June to be relaxing because, knowing what we do at this time of year, it would be unrealistic!

I’ll take another bet that almost every parent reading this has somewhat mixed emotions about the fast approaching holidays. Yes?

Excited but at the same time a tad apprehensive about having the kids around all day every day for two whole months? I hear you. 

How to manage your expectations for the holidays and why it is vital you do, is super important:

I believe that with a bit of planning and organization, and learning to better manage our expectations, the overwhelming, busy, crazy-ness typical of June can be made a little easier. This can then be taken into the holidays to create the same positive effects there too. 

Step 1: Only do what is essential:

  • Do not schedule anything that does not HAVE to be done into June
  • View your life as being FULL rather than busy – it’s a more positive way of looking at it
  • Only say YES to things that are absolutely essential
  • Make sure you re-charge your own battery
  • Try to get your kids to bed on time. They are tired – it’s been a long year for them
  • Each Sunday, verbally go through the weekly schedule with the family
  • Each day at breakfast, run through the daily schedule with each child
  • Honor your sleep needs – if you are sleep deprived, things will be even worse for you and everyone else

Step 2: Deepen your understanding of expectations

Regarding the summer holidays, let’s look at the subject of EXPECTATIONS and kick it off with a definition: “A strong belief that something will happen.”

It is in the expectations that we have for situations, ourselves and of those around us that often fail to be met which cause our emotional reactions:

  • How we expect the summer holidays to be,
  • How we expect to be treated and,
  • How we expect others in our lives to behave

The fundamental thing that we have to understand regarding expectations is that they are future orientated and as such, when they are at odds with what is going on presently, we are often lead to believe that there is something lacking or wrong with the present situation.

This can often trigger an emotional reaction in us. In other words, we have a belief of how our children should behave or how things ought to happen when the reality is such that it will rarely follow what we might have expected.

Step 3: Understand the relationship between fear and expectations

“The fear at the root of every emotional reaction is, more often than not, connected to the threat that our expectation will be unmet.” Dr Shefal Tsabary

Step 4: Identify exactly what you did not expect during the previous holiday period

This will help you work out what you don’t want a repeat performance of. One client I worked with explained to me that she was worried about the holidays and the fact that the only thing that her kids seem to do is laze around the house on SnapChat and Instagram.

“All they do is scroll, scroll and tap the heart… It’s pathetic. They are totally addicted to Instagram. Why can’t they be outside, doing something or hanging out with their friends, playing road hockey, hoop or at the local park? Doing something other than being on their screens. They have no self-control. They end up on the couch for hours. They have to be nagged to do their chores and their laundry. It drives me insane.”

This piece is key because it is from this that you can create the steps you need to take to avoid it from happening again. 

Many of us have an expectation of what the holidays SHOULD look like but do not take the necessary steps to make sure the holidays meet our expectations. 

As a result, we can find ourselves constantly triggered by unmet expectations, namely, kids laziness at home and their incessant device use, to name but two!

Step 5: Prioritize the minimum that has to be done

In order to try and manage this situation and many other situations like it, it helps to start by gaining some clarity of our preferred reality by asking questions like these:

  • What will your children be doing during their days at home this holiday?
  • How would you like your children to spend their “unplanned” time this summer?
  • How would your children like to spend their “unplanned” time this summer?
  • Do you think your expectations are aligned with theirs regarding what this time will look like and how this might play out?
  • What amount of time do you deem reasonable for your kids to spend on their screens each day?
  • What amount of time do your kids deem reasonable to spend on their screens each day?
  • What is the very least that you expect your children to do each day during the summer holidays?

Step 5: Create a list for each family member for what has to be done each day

I encourage you to have a family meeting specifically to discuss questions like these around the family’s expectations for the summer. This way, each member of the family will contribute to the creation of a “holiday agenda” and the boundaries that will need to be in place. This means that THE agenda will not just be your, but rather a collaborative one representative of everyone and each of their needs. And if everyone does what they are expected to do, you will have no unmet expectations! Boom.

Step 6: Construct a plan

Construct a plan so that you know exactly what you have to do to make sure it works. You will be so much happier knowing that you will have your bases covered for the holidays. When you know what will be done you will find it easier to be able to relax and let go of the other itsy-bitsy things that kids do. This will actually allow you and your children to enjoy their holidays without all the typical conflict.

This will help you pro-actively manage your EXPECTATIONS: of yourself and of your children.

There is one more key thing that also has to happen here. The boundaries have been set but this alone is not enough…

Step 7: Find a way to hold the limits you set:

In order for the plan to work, you has to be able to hold the limits you create. You have to find a way to say what you mean and mean what you say.

Knowing how to do this well is absolutely vital. In fact, I would go as far as saying that doing these this well is one of the most important things that you can do for your children and the relationship you have with them.

Before I wrap this up, I wrote a popular blog on how we as parents can shape our behavior more positively regarding our responses to our children’s report cards. Report cards are almost here so why not refresh your memory on how to shape your responses in a way that will help build your child’s sense of self-worth and courage rather than break it down.

So much to think about but hopefully this will help you put a few things in place that will simplify your life and allow you to meet this busy time and the quiet time thereafter with more ease and joy.

I have also spoken about this in a recent podcast which you can listen to HERE.

What 3 things are you going to create a plan for in order to manage your expectations for the holidays?

If you need any help doing this, please call me. Happy to help.

Partnering You

LouiseSig-F8981D

PS. Are you part of the Your Parenting Partner Tribe? If not, you can Sign up here.

PPS. If you are on FB, check out my Parent Coaching Group called The Conscious Parent Community. You can join for FREE. Would love to see you there!

 

How To Stop Your Kids Interrupting You

In the first of my Badass Moms Guide To Parenting Series, I discussed three things that you really need to get in place in order to more effectively deal with things like your kids interrupting you. We first need to see our life AS IT IS in order to identify any parts of it that may need changing. Very often, our struggles and challenges, come from us being over-whelmed and having just too much on our plates. As such, we have to learn to prioritize what’s most important, focus on that and then add in the extra’s. I discussed this in detail in the first blog in this new series. >>> click HERE to access: How To Be A Badass Mom >>> In this second blog post in the series, I am going to help you develop some Badass Interruption Strategies! It is easy to see that when we are operating from a place of general over-whelm, dealing with the routine things that kids do, like interrupting, being disrespectful, not listening, leaving their sh*t all over the house, can cause us to snap. It becomes the straw that breaks the camel’s back when really it shouldn’t. And let’s not forget …Read more →

How To Be A Badass MOM

You might be reading this thinking “How To Be A Badass MOM” – what’s that? You might not able to visualise yourself as being badass enough or badass at all? I can assure you that if you are a mom, you can be badass. And there are times when it definitely helps to be badass! Are you tired of feeling frustrated and over-whelmed? Negotiating, arguing, nagging and cajoling? Kids being on their devices All.The.Time? Kiddos not listening? Going to bed too late? Rushing around All.The.Time? Tired. Tired. YES? If you want to do something about it, you are in the right place. I can help you. Stay with me here. As you will see, by the end of this post, it will come full circle, I promise!! My three favourite words are: Badass. Un-aba-shed. Serendipity. And I’m going to share with you where they all fit in: If you are tired of feeling frustrated and over-whelmed, only you can change it, and change it you can but you are going to have to be UN-ABA-SHED-LY BADASS in your commitment to doing so. If I did, you can too. However, before I go any further, I need to make sure we …Read more →

How To See ADHD As A Gift

In this blog post, I hope to help you shift your perspective and begin to see ADHD as a gift. The very label Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder has such negative connotations doesn’t it! When you think about it, it’s terrible… imagine having this label slapped onto you and feeling good about it! It’s neither wonder that many kids labeled as ADHD have fragile self-esteems. Author Lara Honos-Webb PH.D immediately draws the reader’s attention to this in her wonderful book, The Gift Of ADHD. When there is an associated notion that there is a disorder or deficit, that something is lacking, it can seriously undermine a child’s self-esteem. In all reality, I do not see ADHD as a deficit of attention but more of a challenge with the ability to prioritize attention. In fact, the kids I have met with ADHD often have a form of hyper-focus, albeit, usually when inspired and motivated by something they love doing!   The prime focus of this book is to help you parent in such a way as to help your child and prevent any associated negativity from undermining their sense of self and self-esteem. This is a critical part to parenting kids with …Read more →

How To Support Yourself With A Child With ADHD

Parenting is hard enough at the best of times. But, with the additional challenges that  come with diagnoses such as ADHD, anxiety and learning challenges, it can be over-whelming. In this blog post, I share with you 7 steps you can take to support yourself on your journey. When you support yourself and meet your needs, you are better able to meet your child’s needs. As a result, despite the very best of intentions, you can very quickly and easily run yourself into the ground. It is all too easy to lose sight of yourself in it all and forget about what you might need. Take it from Helen, whose story I share here. When was the last time you thought about what you need and given it to yourself? The truth is this: as much as you think it might be selfish to take care of yourself and support yourself, you need to recognize it for what it is: it is selfish not to take care of yourself. It will help you so much to start viewing it through this lens. It is selfish for children to have a mom who doesn’t honour her needs and do what she …Read more →

How To Parent A Child With ADHD?

The Vital Piece Over-Looked By Parents When Parenting A Child With ADHD Do you have a child with ADHD? In this rich, brave and courageous story, Helen shares with us the things she experienced, the lessons she learned and the vital piece she over-looked when parenting her son with ADHD. This is key in knowing how to parent a child with ADHD. Dear Parents, Our ADHD Roller Coaster Ride Looking back, it was when our son moved into Grade 6 that we started seeing a change in him. I couldn’t put my finger on it exactly but over the course of the year, it became clear to us that he was struggling. His marks started dropping but it was his changing attitude that bothered us more. Granted there were now tweeny / teenage hormones rearing their ugly heads but it was more than this. We saw a bit of anxiety but he was very dismissive of it and any help or conversations around it. His attitude was just so out of character. He was certainly not the same boy that we had raised in the earlier years. At times my husband and I would just look at each other and …Read more →

Could Our Child Have ADHD?

Could our child have ADHD? Might our son actually have ADHD? “Why is my son’s lunch sitting beside the tooth paste in the bathroom and he has already left for school?” “I told him to meet me outside the school at 3pm, why has he taken the bus home?” “Why is the homework on the dining table? He told me that it was due yesterday?” “What do you mean you can’t find your cleats, we just got them back from the lost and found…” “Why is the fridge door open?” Sound familiar? Welcome to the world of living with a boy with ADHD. Whilst I understand that many of these things are just normal things for boys (and some girls, sure!), the frequency and intensity at which these types of things occur when a child has ADHD, is at times unbelievable. Read this great article on A Day In The Life Of a Boy With ADHD. Here’s another tough thing: often if you talk about this with your friends, they will invariably tell you that it’s all normal. That their boys are just the same. Take a chill pill. Someone even said this to me: “You grew up with girls, …Read more →

How To Parent A Strong Willed / Controlling Child

As a Parent Coach, I get more questions on – how to parent a strong willed / controlling child than anything else! There is probably no parent out there who has not had a run in with control in some way shape or form, but for some, the levels of control is over-whelming.  So, how do you parent a strong willed, controlling child? In order to understand the patterns of control, we have to dig a little deeper and understand why they might be there. With the best of intentions, because we all want what is best for our child, we turn to control under the clever disguise of: “my child need’s me to do it”, “this is best for my child”, “this will protect my child”, “this makes it easier for my child”. Control wears many hats… We do it to avoid discomfort for ourselves and for our child and we do it because we fear of what might happen if we don’t. “If I don’t do his laces up for him, we are going to be late…”  “If I don’t do his homework for him, he will never finish it…” “If I don’t force him to practice his …Read more →

Busy, Over-Whelmed and Exhausted?

Aren’t you tired of being busy, over-whelmed and exhausted? There are times when I feel this way, but when I do, I now know exactly what I can do to shift me out of it and I want to share it with you. It’s so simple… Speaking to my friends, it would seem that many of us are in the same boat. I think that there used to be a time in my life where I was nicely busy, just busy enough! At certain times of the year, particularly the end of the school year or the run up to Christmas I knew I would get really busy, it was a given and I just accepted it as being the way it was. I don’t know about you, but for me it now seems that every day feels more like that time of the year. It’s a bit like the VISA bills. There used to be a time where the big ones were anticipated at certain times of the year but now every month is a big one! It seems like it’s almost become to norm to be busy, over-whelmed and exhausted. Moms wear the “busy badge” like it’s a …Read more →

How To Upgrade Your Parenting

  I had the privilege of attending a parenting event run by Dr Shefali Tsabary, the author of “The Conscious Parent”. It was incredible. Transformational would be an understatement. She runs this 3 day weekend every year. It’s called EVOLVE and evolve you will! This is how to upgrade your parenting. Evolve will be held from October 26-29th, 2018 in Long Beach, LA, California. If you haven’t heard of this amazing parenting expert – Oprah says she her work is revolutionary for parents today, you should check her out. The word “conscious” can be a bit intimidating to many, I get it. It can seem a bit woowoo or out there, but I can assure you that this platform is anything but out there. It is so bang on the buck and what parents are searching for. Consider yourself lucky – you have found it! Welcome, your parenting life will be forever positively changed. This is how to upgrade your parenting! Step 1: Shift Your Perspective And Traditional View Of Parenting Dr Shefali is not only hypnotizingly beautiful, inside and out, but mesmerizingly eloquent and clear with her message to me:  My children are my greatest teachers – if I …Read more →