Since childhood, we all had expectations put on us. Some were expected to read fluently before even going to school. Some were expected to know the multiplication table by heart. As a result, kids grow up with the uneasy feeling that they did not finish something, could not achieve something, or did not overcome specific difficulties.
Later, they will set very high standards and always challenge themselves. For example, instead of turning to Essaypro for help when writing plenty of difficult essays, they will puzzle over and burn the midnight oil until they finish it on their own. Then we need to follow the expectations of society:
- to have a degree with honors
- to have a career by a certain age
- to marry and raise a baby by a certain age
- to own an apartment and a car by a certain age
Parents’ high expectations of their children do not go unnoticed by students. Researchers see this as the reason for growing perfectionism. Perfectionism in learning is associated with harsh criticism and high expectations on the part of parents.
But many parents do not realize that they are hurting their children by programming and controlling them. In most cases, they don’t know how to act differently and raise a kid properly because this is how they were treated as well. That’s why we want to share with you some tips on how to deal with this expectation trap.
Don’t Try To Change Your Parents
Of course, you can try to talk to them, but it will probably be a waste of energy. You should expect two options. First, your parents will listen to you and take your opinion into account. Second, they will tell you that they are a million times more mature than you as they have lived more and experienced more, so they know better.
That’s why, in this case, instead of wasting time on pointless conversations, concentrate on the things you can control: your reactions to what is happening, your decisions, and your behavior.
There is no point in using common sense and logic to change the mind of an irrational, emotionally immature, toxic person (which is often the case, but not always). Admitting that you might not have a healthy relationship with your parents is not easy. But it is up to you how to deal with this situation as only you are responsible for your life.
A Sober Look
Often, after intense emotions comes the realization of the essence of the problem. There is a desire to get rid of the negative situation. Sometimes, only sober introspection can help. It is important to understand that the person is not responsible for the expectations that someone puts on them. Even if you are able to meet the far-fetched expectations, this will not guarantee that others will appreciate it.
Attempts to please others often lead to disastrous consequences – such a person is used but not loved. However, the feeling of worthlessness is sometimes so strong that some unfortunate person agrees to the most humiliating role to not be rejected.
It is important to remember that it is impossible to make everyone like you. And no matter how much you try to meet expectations, this will not lead to anything constructive. It is much better to focus on self-education and work on improving your self-esteem. It is also necessary to understand that childhood failure was associated only with a narrow sphere. A person can be talented in other areas. By developing talents, you can build confidence.
See What Your Parents Are Hiding Inside
Unrealistic expectations of a child are sometimes set by infantile individuals. Some adults are just ashamed and disappointed that they did not become what they wanted. That’s why they make their offspring achieve what they couldn’t and make their dream come true. But such manipulations are a sign of inner immaturity.
Thus, there is no point in being offended by such people. You can only pity them. Holding a grudge prevents you from moving forward. Instead, try to understand them because high expectations are a reflection of an inner conflict, trauma, guilt, or insecurity. Try to treat your mom and dad not as enemies but as people who went through a lot of difficulties and hard times. They have their own psychological history and reasons why they treat you like this.
Talking is the key to mutual understanding. But when you figure everything out, it does not mean allowing or forgiving what parents have done to you. Remember that no one (starting with yourself) must not neglect your feelings and emotions. You have every right to express and set your feelings free, even if they can hurt someone.
Establish and Protect Boundaries
Establishing boundaries is the most useful way to protect yourself emotionally and physically from toxic and manipulative people. It may be something you didn’t have as a child at all, so talking about how you want to be treated may be awkward at first.
Toxic people reject someone else’s right to have personal boundaries but don’t let that stop you. Remember: you have every right to say no to your parents, to limit your contact with them, or, if you live together, to leave early and come back late. Boundaries are necessary for all healthy relationships.
Know Your Worth
Another desire to live up to expectations sometimes comes from a desire to be sure of one’s worth. But it doesn’t need any validation. To be sure of this, it is worth looking at the events of your life from a different perspective. After all, there must have been times when someone helped and supported you. It could even be various services that helped you out. And for this, you did not have to please someone.
At first, it will not be easy to give up the role of the golden child. But if you make an effort, then gradually, the interactions with other people and with yourself will become more constructive. And over time, it will be natural to perceive yourself as a complete and whole individual who deserves to be respected and treated well, regardless of your accomplishments.
The process of separation from parents is very hard. When we grow up, this connection, which used to provide us with growth and life, becomes toxic if no boundaries are set.
This is why as we grow up, we need to move away from our parents. The key is to establish a distance in which we can communicate with them no longer as helpless children to be cared for and manipulated but as adults.
Most parents want their children to be happy, but they cannot avoid being selfish. They want their child to be controlled, to be dependent on them. That is why resistance and parental resentment are inevitable when separating. And it is normal. It is a natural stage. An adult lives his life without looking back at his parents. He is not afraid to disappoint them, to offend them. He communicates with them only with a sincere desire, not out of guilt.
Parents have high expectations for their children because they rightly believe that society demands it. However, they can help their children cope with it by, for example, developing a sense of self-worth that does not depend on external standards or the approval of others. But in case your parents still have high expectations, and you suffer because of it – just follow the tips on how to deal with it that we have provided you with.