0:00:00 – Speaker 1
nextTalk contains content of a mature nature. Parental guidance is advised.
0:00:09 – Speaker 2
Welcome to nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 630, the word. Mandy is the author of Talk and Kim is the director of nextTalk, a non-profit organization helping parents cyber parent through open communication. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter, find our free video series and subscribe to our weekly podcast at NextTalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
0:00:36 – Speaker 1
Today we’re talking about expectations. Again, we talked about it with spouses. Now we’re moving on to kids, our kids.
0:00:44 – Speaker 3
You know, this can mean a lot of different things. It can mean your daily expectations. Like when you get home from school. This is what I expect to be Screentime.
Yeah this could mean long-term goals. You know, like, what are we doing this week and how are we tracking this and your screen time and your exercise time and your food, your health, you know all of that kind of stuff. Or it could be like long-term goals for our kids. You know, like Education, yeah, like for this school year we are gonna focus on this. I mean, I know now I have a freshman and so we’re already talking about expectations for, like, graduation and college. Like we have to have those conversations now as we prepare for that. So those are like long-term expectations. So you got to look at it different ways here.
0:01:26 – Speaker 1
Well, I think, behavior too. Yeah that’s a really big one. This is the kind of person I expect you to be when you are outside of our home. You know you have to set those things up for them so that they know oh, I’m supposed to be polite, I should open the door when I see you know those kinds of things. Expectations cover so many levels.
0:01:45 – Speaker 3
Well, so many times, you know, we expect our kids to know to make their bed every day or what to post on social media, and they just don’t. They don’t meet our expectations and many times I know in my home it’s because I haven’t clearly communicated those to my kids and we haven’t talked through them and they don’t really understand what my expectations are.
0:02:08 – Speaker 1
Yes, and so I think we really need to talk about that Well not only that, but setting when you are able to communicate those expectations, also explaining the why behind them, because a lot of times kids are reluctant to follow through on an expectation if they don’t get it. You know, they’re just like, they just want me to do this. If you explain the why behind it, a lot of times they’re more apt to get on board and it becomes an expectation for themselves.
0:02:30 – Speaker 3
Yeah, it’s not really like a checklist item. It’s more about I’m doing this to build your character or I’m doing this to make you a healthy human being, and by explaining that, why, then they see it. I know one of the things I say to my kids all the time. You know, when I tell them to clean their bathroom or whatever I’ll say, you know I don’t want to raise a brat.
Like I will say that, yeah, I don’t want to raise somebody who is spoiled and who thinks that the world owes them something Like you need to get in there and do that and that’s why I’m making you do this and this and this. And so many times they will say like it, kind of like they see why they’re being asked to do it and they don’t dread it as much. You know like I’ve even heard my oldest say to my youngest you know like when he’s complaining that he has to do something, she’ll be like this is for your own good, because you will not be ready and I’m like, okay, and my husband calls her little Mandy.
I guess that’s why. But, I mean again, it just comes back to those expectations and, like you said, explaining the why behind it, absolutely.
0:03:29 – Speaker 1
In fact, like you said earlier, that a lot of times we think that they should just know, they should know.
I just heard an example the other day and I thought this is a perfect one for this topic, this radio show. This little girl was cheating in class. She was copying someone else’s paper and you know they’re young so it wasn’t a huge deal. But when she was approached about she literally did not know. And I thought that’s so funny, like I would have assumed, like of course you can’t look at your neighbor’s paper Like come on, sister. But she didn’t know and she was like I just I didn’t realize that that was a bad thing. I thought I could just get some help. And whether she was telling the truth or not, it reminded me that we have to express even the littlest things that seem so obvious.
0:04:13 – Speaker 3
Well, I get that a lot when you know kids share nude photos and I will tell you when I get these calls, they’re all great families, they’re all. None of them are shady, weird families. They’re all good families, right, and they’re devastated because they’re like my kid shared a new photo. And you know, I always say, well, I always share parents first. This is blindsided. All of us Like just take a minute and breathe. You know, I don’t want you to feel guilty.
But then when we move into the difficult part of the conversation, I will say you know, did you ever have a conversation about maybe sharing nudes? And they’re like well, I didn’t know, I needed to. Yeah, and that’s when I say you know, parents, we don’t understand their culture because everything is snapped, recorded and posted and shared. So if we’re not actively communicating listen, my expectations for you are to not be the norm on social media and not share nude photos. Like, if we’re not clearly communicating that, they’re gonna get sucked in to what everyone else is doing Exactly. And we did a show on that recently, the bandwagon mentality. You can go listen to that. But it’s really about clearly communicating what our expectations are and sometimes we just miss it because we think they should know.
0:05:26 – Speaker 1
Yeah Well, and with expectations too. I know this is a hard topic for you, mandy, but we do need to talk about something that it plays into this. Yeah, I know where you’re going, yeah yeah, so we have to see our kids for their actual age. And it’s hard for me too, because you and I are on opposite ends for this one.
0:05:45 – Speaker 3
Yeah, I mean you gotta see your kids because you gotta know, I can’t even say it, it is a hard one, I can’t even say it. Okay, this is what I’m trying to say my baby, you already started it he is a tween.
0:06:01 – Speaker 1
He is not a baby, but I often see him as a baby.
0:06:04 – Speaker 3
He’s 11, he’s gonna be 12. I see him as the little squishy baby that crawls up and snuggles with me and listen. If I am doing that, I’m not setting realistic expectations for his age, so I’m letting things slide. That shouldn’t be. Yes, and I have found myself doing it and I have looked in the mirror and realized that I need to fix this. But I’ve talked to Kim about it. And what’s so funny is, kim is like the opposite. She’s like I’ve got my four year old like washing the car doing the dishes.
0:06:44 – Speaker 1
I’m a task master. I mean you are like literally no. So here’s the thing Like when you come from a family, it was just me and my mom. There were no other kids to compare to In our family and we had to do it all. So, instead of there being another spouse and other kids to all carry the load, it was me and my mom running the household. So from a young age I had more responsibilities than most kids my age, so that was my norm, so you’re like you can handle it at four.
0:07:12 – Speaker 3
Yeah, so I didn’t see.
0:07:14 – Speaker 1
I heard even like I think it was a year or two ago a good friend of ours. We were in like a social situation and she was like I’m really excited because I taught my son how to do a load of laundry and her son was like 11 or 12. And I’m like what in my head?
0:07:31 – Speaker 3
Cause at five your son was doing laundry.
0:07:33 – Speaker 1
Well, no, but I was teaching them how to put their laundry in one place, load sort and put their laundry away. Like all three of my kids do that, and my daughter’s only four, she has to put away all her things in her drawer, sort her clothes out and she unloads the dishwasher with the boys.
0:07:48 – Speaker 3
See my kids do all of that stuff, but they weren’t doing it at four. I got a late start on it because I wasn’t seeing them what they were capable of doing.
0:07:57 – Speaker 1
Well, and I am the opposite, I, my son, my oldest son, who is nine. He is almost five three at nine years old, he is like a man child. He’s like my size. He is and he has always been that way. His nickname as a child was Mr Baby, because he was serious, he was all about. We called him Mr Baby, all business. He wasn’t that baby. That was like like people would come up and smile at him and he would have like a straight face.
0:08:21 – Speaker 3
He was like boss baby. What can I do for him? He was boss baby, he was the original. He was the original. Thank you, I’m gonna tell him that it is true.
0:08:29 – Speaker 1
We’re in the little suit. Like he never was that like cutesy little baby, he was like all business, and so we have always struggled with treating him much older than he is.
0:08:39 – Speaker 3
And. I have to dial it back, especially when he’s here Cause you’re like here, son, go to the grocery store and get me some food.
0:08:45 – Speaker 1
I’m like why have you not cooked a three course meal child? Yeah, I have to dial it back and realize my expectations are too high for him and so he constantly feels like a failure and that’s awful. That’s awful, and so being able to recognize he is still nine, even though he’s mature and even though he looks like he’s 15, he is still nine, he needs to be able to be a kid.
0:09:07 – Speaker 3
So I think what we’re telling our listeners is don’t be Mandy and don’t be Kim. You need to be in the middle.
0:09:12 – Speaker 1
In the middle.
0:09:13 – Speaker 3
You need to find the balance of what we’re saying, how we’ve messed this up. And you know, the other thing is, kim, once you are seeing them at their age and realizing you also have to remember that each child is unique. So your first child, what they handle at 11, your second child may not be able to handle at 11. So true, and I’m kind of in this right now with phones. You know, my son is saying I need to get a phone, when my sister did, and I’m like I’m not quite sure we’re there yet, you know, and so we’re. We’re praying that through and talking it through. Lots of conversations about why it looks differently. He’s much more into gaming than she was and I don’t want those games on there to be a distraction at school, because I know that they. That’s a problem in schools and so all these things are coming into play. But but I think we really have to know our kid we do.
0:10:06 – Speaker 1
You have to see them for who they are Individually and be able, like you said, to have those conversations with them. Here’s why I want you to do this. This is my expectation for you and in our house a lot of times, because there’s three of them, they’re always comparing each other. Well, he didn’t have to do that. She didn’t have to. Yes, why?
0:10:23 – Speaker 3
It’s the comparison again. We talked about this on the last show with with with your spouse.
0:10:28 – Speaker 1
Yeah, comparing marriages, but the siblings compare each other all the time my oldest always says I have so much more homework. Then my brother and my sister and I’m like are you six, Are you four?
Yeah wouldn’t that seem a little weird if you had the same amount of homework? And so we have to take the time. It’s easy to get frustrated with them. It’s easy to just, you know, flashback at them and say something like come on, or because, or yeah, just give it a rest. They need to know that you got to have the conversations and explain it.
0:10:58 – Speaker 3
That’s back to what you said. Explain the why behind it, because then they see the bigger picture and I think a lot of times with the older kids, when they see the bigger picture, they want to be more responsible. They’re like, well, yes, I am, I should be more responsible, I should be doing more because I’m older and you know I’m more capable, like showing them the other side of that.
0:11:15 – Speaker 1
Yes, there’s more responsibility, but you also have more privileges because of your age. So finding and teaching that balance for them.
0:11:22 – Speaker 3
I think that is key. You know, and then and then, once you see their age and you’re seeing their limitations, because sometimes you know, like we talked about, you need to know when your kid is ready for certain things, and too much challenge Sometimes makes kids feel awful, like you said, like they’re.
0:11:41 – Speaker 1
They’re failing because they never live up to it and they’re too hard on themselves, then that’s the kind of the result of that.
0:11:47 – Speaker 3
Yes, and too little Expectations, like what I was doing isn’t challenging them enough. Yeah, you really need to know your kid and get in there and and also like, walk them through those challenges. You know, like this, these goals are good because and use personal examples about when you’ve set goals or expectations for yourself- I gotta tell you one thing that helped me a lot, but it was really, really hard.
0:12:13 – Speaker 1
I had to do that self-work.
Yeah and I was talking with my husband and he said Don’t be mad, which I always know like, oh no, brace yourself, brace myself. And he’s like you, um, are harder on our oldest than you are on our middle child. You let him get away with so much more, and they know it, and that was the part that was like the stab, like they know that you treat them differently and I think we talked about this on our sibling show and if you want more information on this, you got to go dig into that show.
0:12:48 – Speaker 3
Yeah, because we were contributing to the problem. I even shared some examples of why I was letting my baby get away With some things, because I see him as a baby, which is wrong.
0:13:00 – Speaker 1
Wrong man, he’s not a baby.
0:13:02 – Speaker 3
He’s 11. He’s 11. He’ll always be my baby, I know.
0:13:05 – Speaker 1
It’s so hard. I tell my kids that all the time they’re like mom, it’s so embarrassing, um, but yeah, it’s true, like do it. So I had to really kind of watch my behavior. And he was totally right, I could, right away once he pointed it out and I was like, oh, I do do that, and the fact that they knew it. Man, I had to tell them to. So that was difficult humbling made a big difference.
0:13:29 – Speaker 3
It really did. If you’re just now tuning in, this is nextTalk radio at 2 pm On am 6 30. The word nextTalk radio is sponsored in part by PACs, financial group and listeners like you. Everything we do at our nonprofit to keep kids safe online is accomplished through donations To support our organization. Go to nextTalk org and click on give.
0:14:01 – Speaker 2
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0:14:34 – Speaker 1
Today we are talking about expectations for our kids. We’re doing a bit of a series here. We talked about expectations for our spouse, Now we’re talking about expectations for our kids and how important it is to communicate them clearly and then explain the why behind why you have those expectations and they range from all kinds of things, from behavior to goals for them, whether it’s school or personal achievement or household expectations. But if we’re not setting those, how can we expect them to meet them when they don’t even know what they are?
0:15:05 – Speaker 3
Yeah, you know, and when we start communicating these goals and we talked about seeing their age- and making sure yes, and making sure then we see each child for themselves, which is what one child may be ready for at 11,. The other one may not be ready for so we need to take that into consideration as well. I think the next thing is to make set realistic expectations for their age or for what they’re capable of, and I think that I fail at this too. Oh we all do.
Because here’s my thing. I have high expectations of people. In general, I expect people to do the right thing, and here is where it’s really bad. When people do things, I expect it to be done well, like near perfection, like give it your all. So when I say to my kids make your bed in the morning, I’m expecting it to be made well.
Yeah Well, pottery barn picture display and so when I walk in there and it’s a pile of stuffed animals under a sheet that was just thrown up in the air and just put down right, I want to lose my mind.
And I want to fix it, and I want to fix it, especially if I’ve got people coming over. I want to go in there and make it look right, like perfect. I’m doing air quotes, you are perfect. This is where I struggle, because if I want them to learn, I got to back off, I got to let them just do their thing. And now I have found like, even when people come over and it’s not made right but it’s made, I’ll be like look at what a great job they did. And it motivates them to kind of do even better sometimes because they’re getting the credit for it.
0:16:53 – Speaker 1
It’s so true, and it’s hard for perfectionist out there. It’s really hard. I used to fix the beds.
0:17:03 – Speaker 3
You know the way I thought yeah, cuz you’re, you’re a, you’re a bed maker like the bed will be made before we leave the house.
0:17:09 – Speaker 1
Yeah, that is an expectation.
So that’s not an expectation in my home, but if I say we have to make the bed, then I expect it the cool thing is and we’ve talked about this so many times about you know, having your tribe or your group of people and having a mentor who is not afraid to grab my shoulders and say you are acting like a crazy fool right now. Right, she has done many times and when I shared this one time like the expectation is that the bed is made in the morning, and she was like thought I was crazy, but then she’s like, okay, well, that’s reasonable. If it’s made their way, because they’re still learning, let them make it on their own and don’t go back and fix it, because I would go back and fix it, and so I haven’t any de-values their work.
It de-values their work and tells them they’re not good enough.
0:17:51 – Speaker 3
That’s what it does.
0:17:52 – Speaker 1
Yeah, it’s not. It’s not a helpful thing, and so it’s been great I have backed off and I let them make their bed. I told them you know, this is what an inbade bed looks like. But then they do it in their own way and it is not pretty, but it’s done and they’re doing their best. And so I’m always like look at that your beds are made and look at how nice it looks, and you come home and it Something has been accomplished. And the same with their laundry. I feel like it’s good to do steps like. My kids are young so I don’t make them fold a certain way. They have to put everything in its place and when they get a little older We’ll talk about what that folding looks like and it’s kind of stepped up. Based on their age, my expectations can change.
0:18:32 – Speaker 3
Well, and implementing a phone should be the same way, absolutely you know.
I tell parents all the time, when you give your kid a phone, when you’ve determined they’re ready for it, they should not have full access to, they should not get social media right away. It should be a phone like you, do it in steps. Yeah, it should be a phone where you’re calling, texting they don’t really call, they FaceTime and text. Do that for a couple months. Once that is nailed down and you have the whole turning the phone in at night and you know no phone at meals and they’re being respectful of not being on the phone when adults are communicating with them. You get that kind of worked out Catch them doing something really great on their phone like I’m so proud of you for doing this. Now you get one social media platform when they’re ready and it’s a process that they earn.
I have a whole, I think, two chapters in my book on this, just how we implemented it. But so many times we think all or nothing. Like phone with everything that comes with it, or nothing. It’s a process, just like the laundry, just like I’m teaching my kid to drive right now. That’s a process. She does a written course, then we have a learner’s permit Time frame where she’s driving with me and then I let her fly. It’s the same kind of process.
0:19:52 – Speaker 1
It is, and you know, talking about this process and reasonable Expectations that we put on our kids or ask our kids to meet. I am going to push a few buttons here and some people are not gonna like me. This is gonna be an ouch, it is, but I’m gonna say it because I hear it all the time. I’ve done it myself. We come into parenting and a lot of times we put on our children social Expectations that make sense to us but are not necessarily fair. Like you will go to this college because this is where I went.
0:20:24 – Speaker 3
0:20:25 – Speaker 1
Not because it makes sense for your degree.
You’re preaching over here because you want to go to this college, not because we can afford this college, not because it is where you’re you got a scholarship, but because that’s what we do. That is a social expectation. That is not fair. Yeah, it puts your kid in a box that they. I have met so many young people who have graduated from a university and they’re like I don’t even know why I went there, like I mean, it truly is just because that’s what we do, or not even just the college, but a sport like I played this so you’re gonna play this, yes, or?
0:21:01 – Speaker 3
I know this, so you’re gonna know this.
0:21:03 – Speaker 1
The one that hurt me the most recently was I was talking with his mom and she’s like I was always popular and my daughter is just not. She likes to read and play chess and I expect her to be popular. I want her to be friendly to everyone and know people and people to like her, and that just hurt for me. I could not imagine what that’s like to grow up in that situation.
0:21:24 – Speaker 3
See, I, I see that totally differently.
Because, I have really strong feelings about the popularity thing, yeah, because I know what it takes from my high school experience To run with a popular crowd and all that it took for me to keep up with that. I do not want that for my kid. Like I want her to know and I’m talking about my oldest here because I’m walking through it with her I want her to be grounded in who she is and be her own self and then don’t worry about what the crowd is doing or what it takes to be popular. Like I have very strong feelings about that because I feel like that’s part of why I made such awful decisions as a teenager. Like awful because I wanted the popularity, so I would do whatever it took. I want my daughter to be opposite.
0:22:11 – Speaker 1
So much better than me. I tell my kids that all the time.
0:22:14 – Speaker 3
So much better than me.
0:22:15 – Speaker 1
Yes and so, and I think a lot of times as parents we don’t even realize that we’re putting these social expectations on our kid by pushing them into situations or behaviors that we think are good or right or enjoyable or that we think the world wants to see. We don’t even realize we’re doing it with the little comments and the suggestions. But they internalize all of that and that’s from where they operate. And then we wonder when they go astray or they’re confused about what they’re doing, how did this happen.
We put that expectation on them.
0:22:46 – Speaker 3
Well, it goes back to something we always say you got to listen to your kids. You got to see what their passions are. You got to help them explore those passions and find them and figure it out and chase them and minus whatever we want to put on their plate with the expectations of who we want them to become. And the other thing is when you clearly are setting your expectations and you’re talking about it and you’re letting your kids maybe set their own. As my kid gets older, she’s able to set her own expectations, which has been really cool to watch.
Yes, it’s a really cool thing to see, but when you’re actually communicating well about your expectations either that you’re putting on yourself or that you’re putting on your kids or your spouse or whatever they’re easier to measure. So when you achieve one, praise, praise, praise your kid when they achieve something and let them fail too when they don’t achieve it. So many times our kids think, well, I didn’t achieve this expectation, so mom and dad are going to feel differently about me. They should know you’re going to love him no matter what. And maybe after the crying is over and the devastation is over and you’ve just listened through that, a couple of days later maybe you can come back and say well, what could we have done differently to maybe meet the expectation? You know, maybe it’s not getting into the college they want, or maybe not making the team, whatever it is.
One thing that happened recently in our home something, somebody didn’t get what they wanted and of course I wanted to call the coach and I wanted to fix it. I wanted to fix it right and my husband said you know what? This is a teachable moment. If they want it bad enough, they will go to the coach and say what can I do to get this. I didn’t get it this time, I want it next time. Tell me what I can do and when we do it. That way, we’re teaching our kids to have expectations for themselves Like this is how I want it, how to leave the nest. Well, yes, Absolutely, and so I just. We’ve got to be willing to love our kids, no matter what they choose. You know, if it doesn’t meet our expectations and even if they are expectations that the whole family has said and the kid has chased after and they still don’t meet them, that unconditional love is so important. So, with setting expectations.
0:25:11 – Speaker 1
One we need to see our kids for their actual age, even though we feel like they’re always going to be our babies and we need to recognize that each child is unique. Two set realistic expectations. Communicate early and help them reach their goals. And three love your kids unconditionally, walk them through accomplishments and failures.
0:25:33 – Speaker 2
Thanks for joining us on nextTalk Radio with Mandy and Kim on AM 6.30, the Word. You are not alone trying to figure out how to parent in this digital world. We are here with practical solutions to help you. Follow us on Facebook, instagram and Twitter. Find our free video series and podcast at nexttalkorg. Are you ready for the nextTalk?
Transcribed by https://podium.page