Parental expectations are common. As parents, we expect something from our child hoping that it will help them grow into fine individuals in the future. But more often than not, we tend to step over their line and invade the personal space of our child by pushing ideas and expectations on them. What we don’t realize is that, sometimes, we might be going against our child’s wish by doing so.

Parents are a child’s first role model. He/she looks up to you as they grow up into adults. They believe that their parents know what is best for them and their future. This creates a sense of expectation on the child to not disappoint us or our decisions. This path of fulfilling your wishes may come at the expense of the dreams and hopes that your child might have or long for. Quite often do we come across a child who goes against his/her wish and ends up opting for a Science course because the parent has dreams of molding the child into a doctor or an engineer whereas the child might not even remotely have any interest in those career options. He/She might be good at something else and might even hope to pursue a career in that particular field of interest.

We, as human beings, have a natural tendency to opt for security over exploration. We like staying within our limits instead of expanding them. It is also believed that a secure life is a stable life since the amount of risk undertaken will be less. But what we fail to realize sometimes is that we only grow by taking risks. In today’s world, we are forced to take risks with almost everything we do. Failure doesn’t necessarily mean that we failed; it also means that we have gained the experience to not make the same mistakes we made earlier. Experiences make a man and these experiences come only when we undertake a risky path.

Children expect us to understand their decisions and choices. Yes, children make some bad choices which have consequences to be dealt with but, that is how they grow up and grow better. Mistakes need to be rectified but we, as parents, must not limit a child by making him/her feel that everything that they do is wrong or misguided. Some parents simply raise their children as they were parented. Perhaps an even greater number parent in opposition to how they were raised. In either case, this will cause difficulties in the parent-child relationship. Children are unique individuals and will resent being raised as if he/she is someone else, even if that “someone else” is his/her parent. It also sabotages the special parent-child relationship that awaits development.

Your child has his/her own set of expectations which they wish to attain. They learn and realize new things as they grow up. They even create a sense of individuality for themselves. Developing a strong bond with the child can help us understand the child better; know about his/her strengths and weaknesses. In short, we will be able to understand our child better, and perhaps, this will enable us to have a bigger impact on a child’s growth. But while doing so, don’t ignore the needs of your child at the same time. Be willing to hear them out. Chances are that you might even get to know your child much better than you already do. You might be able to realize their potential while being able to understand the help they require. Be willing to give them a chance to be themselves around you. You might even be surprised with what your child might be able to do and how better they might become, as individuals, with the right amount of support and help from your side.

Life is too short anyway. Make the best use of it for you and your child. Speak to them but hear them out too. You never know, it might open up a world of possibilities for you and your child.