I’ve always been a believer in the idea that your reach should exceed your grasp. In other words, bite off more than you can comfortably chew.
I believe in setting high expectations and goals.
Of course that type of thinking is out of vogue especially for kids these days with their fragile self esteem; “gradeless” report cards that are now based on effort rather than competency and bedroom shelves stacked with trophies and ribbons they didn’t earn but were given for just signing up.
We expect more from our daughters, and we want them to expect more from themselves.
Everyday before we part ways to go to school and work respectively, I challenge them to do the following for the day.
“Be a genius. Make good decisions. Be responsible.”
Over the years, my wife and I have honed this mantra down to the core expectations encapsulated within each phrase.
Be a Genius
This phrase doesn’t only focus on mental brain power. While they may never achieve an Albert Einstein IQ, it is possible that they may.
Beyond that, we want our kids to be the best they can be – mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually. Challenging them to be a “genius” for the day in all of those areas is more likely to draw out their best effort, fostering a lifelong habit of excellence.
Make Good Decisions
Personally, I believe this is the single most important skill that children need to develop. Sometime in the future, our girls are going to be on their own and will have to make decisions that affect their lives or the lives of others.
Whether its accepting a job, blowing off a test, getting in a car with drunk teenagers or being pressured to sleep with someone in their college dorm – we want them to be able to make the right decisions in those instances.
If they practice making the correct decisions now with the little things of life, they will be better prepared to make the correct decisions regarding the big things as well.
This expectation naturally follows the decisions they make. Regardless of the decisions and outcomes, we want our children to “own” those results. That’s a large part of growing up and maturity.
To often in this day and age, politicians and business executives resort to the blame game of others for the bad decisions they themselves make. That’s wrong and it stinks.
Accountability is very important to my wife and I – we want it to be important to our children as well.
These may not be perfect or even applicable to the sensibilities of some parents, but we believe that expecting more from our kids is better than less.
Question: What expectations do you have for your kids or grand children?