On Expectations

The expectations that parents set on their children can have the effect of stifling the child’s own expectations, and expressions. A person is a unique combination of genes who grows and evolves within a unique combination of memes. Therefore, every person is a unique individual, and will learn to set expectations for themselves for what they will become. Parents can influence these self-set expectations, but they must be careful not to influence expectations that are incompatible with their child’s nature. You may want your child to be athletic, but they may be more inclined to mathematics and engineering. You may want your child to be musical, but they may be more inclined to painting and drawing. Children should be given ample opportunity to become whoever they will become without fear of shame or disappointment. Expect greatness and happiness from your child, but let them surprise you with how they manifest those things. And that’s today’s two cents.

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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.