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Build Self-Esteem With Realistic Expectations

It's easy to get frustrated when we feel like we're nagging or repeating ourselves 20 times just to get our child or teen to do something.

Here's a Quick Tip for a Quick Win with your parenting...

>>For Less Frustration Have Realistic Expectations<<

Here's the thing: Kids learn to feel good about themselves when they feel a sense of accomplishment and competence in a task.

Our job is to help them build the self-regulation skills they need to meet a given challenge or expectation. This starts with setting your child or teen up for success with realistic expectations that take into account their emotional age.

When your child or teen fails to meet an expectation, it's crucial to ask yourself the following to help you figure out what's realistic:

  1. Are they regulated enough at that moment to meet this expectation?

  2. Is anything else going on at school or at home that may be adding stress or overwhelm?

  3. Are they acting in a way that seems like their chronological age is out of sync with their emotional age? (Think of the times you've said, "I know you know how to do this!")

Sometimes, what seems like "won't" is actually "can't!" when it comes to them meeting an expectation.

Instead of thinking you're lowering your expectations for your child or teen, I invite you to think about it as setting attainable expectations that may be just a little challenging, but that they can have success with.

Sometimes that means having expectations that may be below what is age appropriate because they need expectations that match their emotional age.

Sometimes it means joining them in accomplishing a "task" so it feels less overwhelming to them.

Sometimes it means breaking the task down into smaller, doable tasks. Think "clean your room" vs. first put your dirty clothes in the hamper.

Sometimes it means spending a few minutes of regulating hang out time with your kid before you want them to do something.

Having a sense of accomplishment feels good to your child. When they can feel competent and good about themselves, it builds their self-esteem!

(Click the image below for the cliff notes on emotional age.)

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