I wonder how often in life I am let down because my expectations were too great. It isn’t that the event itself was poorly run (although it might have been) or that a certain person failed horribly in their attempts, but rather that I had a greater expectation of the results than I should have.
Since I was young I have always pushed myself to the limit. I knew what I expected of myself and what I could produce. Knowing this, I never settled for less than my best and never let myself stop until the most could be done. While there is no problem with setting certain expectations for myself, I need to be careful that I don’t set high standards for others, expecting them to perform at a level I would impose on myself.
I find this to be especially true in homeschooling. It can be a danger to expect my children to learn at a certain rate, pursue a skill with dogged mindset, or keep working until the job is “perfect”. While my children should have goals, they need to be realistic. The aim should be to do their best, not mommy’s best nor anyone else’s. The intention of learning being that they continue to grow and achieve their best, not what someone else expects.
If I force my children to constantly live up to my own standard of performance, I run the risk of overburdening them and perhaps turning them away. The probability of them becoming frustrated and giving up is high.
Instead, I try to set an example for my children; allowing them to see for themselves what great expectations can accomplish. It isn’t by pushing, prodding, and certainly not by setting the bar too high; it is simply by living and living well.
“As it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now, as always, Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.”
Your Turn!: Do you find yourself expecting too much of other people, or yourself?