expecting the unexpected

Why Expecting the Unexpected is Important in Parenting

When our kids are young, we map out in our minds where we want their lives to go. We want them to be valedictorian and captain of the football team. We want them to get into the best colleges and fall in love with the perfect person. We want them to be successful in their job and have perfectly healthy kids of their own. Ultimately, we want nothing but good things for our kids. And that is a natural and noble desire.

But, of course, these visions for our kids don’t always become a reality. Our kids will fail, they’ll get hurt, they’ll make bad choices, their health may suffer, and they’ll face rejection. Parents who expect the unexpected to occur in their kids’ lives are better prepared to guide them with wisdom and compassion. With that in mind, here are 3 reasons why expecting the unexpected is important when raising your kids.

1. You’ll Avoid Overreacting.

When you expect perfection from your kids, you can’t help but get angry, frustrated, and disappointed when things don’t go as planned. So expect the unexpected: expect mistakes and imperfections. There is a big difference between expecting your child to be perfect and expecting your child to do their best. Their best may be all C’s in school or their best may be playing the sixth man on the basketball team. And that’s okay!

There is a big difference between expecting your child to be perfect versus doing their best. Click To Tweet

2. Your Child Will Know Your Love is Unconditional.

When you expect your kids to “do it all,” you will face constant disappointment. They won’t catch every touchdown, they won’t make all A’s, and they won’t always perform perfectly at recitals. So when they look to you after trying their best only to see a face of disappointment, they will feel less valued, less cared for, and less loved. Don’t let your child feel that your love is based on their performance, abilities, or choices. Show them that they are cared for unconditionally by expecting mistakes and being there to catch them when they fall.

3. Your Child Won’t Stress.

Face it. Your children are watching you, and not just in these 10 Ways Your Kids Are Watching You. Your kids are watching to see how you handle life and how you handle things you didn’t see coming. Expecting the unexpected will allow both you and your child to see life with less anxiousness, less fear, and less depression. Because, if you see life as an adventure, your kids will too.

Sound Off

When have you and your family faced things you weren’t expecting? 

Mark W. Merrill

Mark is the president of All Pro Dad and Family First , a national non-profit organization. He is also the voice of a daily radio program called The Family Minute.

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