Chapter Three – Unconscious Expectations



Chapter three is all about our expectations for our kids.   Do you have unrealistic expectations of thinking your kids will be perfect, well mannered all the time and make all the right decisions?  Well, if you are still living within that little bubble world of yours, it is time for a reality check – Kids Make Mistakes!

Our kids make poor choices every single day, just like you and I do.  I know I get frustrated very easily when my kids make the same mistakes over and over and over again – but when I truly sit and think, I am sure this is how God must feel when He looks at me and my choices.  I make the same mistake over and over and over again.  You would think I would learn!

“Your kids are not perfect.  Their imperfections are not a reflection of you.  You can’t “control” them into perfection.  Allowing your children to fail – without getting your anger as a consequence – is a gift to them.”

I have gotten a lot better over the years dealing with my kids mistakes and poor choices.  I have been able to step back and let them fail – being there to help them pick the pieces up.  I am not perfect, by any means –  with my older kids I can keep my cool so much easier – they are older, I can communicate with them on an adult level and most all situations come out in the end to be really good learning experiences.  But when it comes to mistakes with younger ones, that is where I sin most and struggle the greatest.

I really expect more than what they are capable of or I do not want to have  breakdown in the midst of all the other things I manage.   I am learning some great techniques in another book I am currently reading along with this study, Unglued by Lysa TerKeurst.  My bible study group is going through this book and it is very helpful for anyone who struggles with emotional issues – whether it is outbursts or stuffing emotions.  Truly a help for me and no coincidence I am doing both studies at the same time.

Frustration gets the best of me and I am slowly learning how to deal with it and taking steps to work on those emotions that are buried deep inside.  It is because of the expectations I set on myself and my child that stress risesfor everyone, and that is not a good thing.

Sometimes our expectations are unconscious ones, I like how Jill puts that right out there and I would say it is likely an area I struggle with – unconscious expectations.  I do get frustrated quite often when I have to deal with behavior issues.

Curious, of the questions Jill shares asking you to determine a True or False answer, which question answer was the most surprising for you?

Did you answer false to five or more of the questions?  What did you learn about yourself?

“Unrealistic expectations discourage.  Realistic expectations inspire.”

The line right after this one that really spoke to me and that I need to write down was perfect, “Cut yourself some slack, give your child some grace, and watch the dynamics in your family change before your very eyes!”  AHHH, I pray it can be that easy!

Did you download the discussion questions yet for this week?  You can do that here.  If you are looking for the First Corinthians download from the discussion questions, you can find that here.

Can you identify one way you’ve had an unrealistic expectation for your child?

Setting Reasonable Expectations



Chapter Five:

A few key sentences that got my attention:

“When I should have been enjoying the happy chaos and accepting my life as it was, I kept trying to regain my old life and slammed into daily frustration.”

“Becoming a woman who sets healthy expectations for herself based on reality will bring a greater sense of acceptance, peace, and hope to your life.”

“Staying connected with God is crucial to finding balance and perspective during challenging times.”

[Read more…]

Increased Expectations


Chapter Three

A few sentences that stood out to me from Chapter 3:

“Our culture has created a sense of urgency and expectation that’s hard to shake.”

“The expectations of others seems to be a common issue among women who used to be organized.  It seems impossible to balance everyone’s needs.”

“As you establish a plan for responding to requests and set boundaries around your time, you’ll discover a renewed focus for your day.”

This one was a hard topic for me and I am being very convicted in knowing my priorities.  I am stepping out and going all “video” on you today – I think this might be my first Vlog! [Read more…]

An Updated Vision – Looking Ahead


I am getting really excited to share with you a new look around here.  This has been a bit in the making and with any project, it has taken longer to get it going, but The Confident Mom is getting a facelift and it will be reveal in the next few weeks, so watch for it!

In the process of this time of ‘re-designing’ I’ve also taken a step back and looked at my transition in this space known as “The Confident Mom” website.  Several years ago, I started out mainly coaching moms.  I soon realized that only a handful of moms could afford to pay for individual parent coaching, yet there were so many other moms needing encouragement, resources, direction and support.  I created different group coaching programs in order to meet the need, like Becoming a Calm, Cool and Confident Mom, which is a wonderful go at your own pace course.

I also began posting on my site and created a blog, my first post was August 1, 2009.  It is embarrassing to look back, but you know – it is inspiring as well to see how I’ve grown as a writer.  I’ve also been a big learner with the entire internet portion of running an internet business,  a website and creating relationships over thousands of miles with people I will never meet!  It is mind-boggling how God can use anyone, including a big messed up mom like me to help others!  It is only through grace! [Read more…]

Back to School Topics with Teens


There is a lot to be considered with Back to School Expectations and I talk about this in my Back 2 School Survival Guide,  but with teens you have a few areas that may not be relevant for younger kids.  It is important to set boundaries beforehand so they know what is expected as they continue on with their high school studies and into college.  It is critical to address topics before the issues become a point of battle.  Clearly defining expectations and consequences gets everyone on the same page.  Parenting teens changes the playing field a bit and being prepared will help you a lot!


A specific curfew should be set on school nights and weekends.  This has been helpful for us to implement so that we are not caught off guard with certain situations that leave us feeling unprepared.  School night curfews are fairly easy, but this can become more difficult when your teen enters the job market.  If they are choosing to have  a job, then making sure you can set expectations for both curfew in regard to ‘fun’ activities as well as ‘job’ activities.

This past spring it was interesting to see how our son who had recently gotten his first job learned to balance his responsibilities at home, his studies and his commitment to his boss.  No amount of lecturing on my part really could help him.  I asked if he’d like my suggestions, but nagging him to do his school work and or to go to bed early on nights he wasn’t working were not in his best interest.  Allowing our kids to fail is hard, watching him get up tired and weary in the morning because of choices he had made with his time was hard, but that truly is the only way to learn.  Experience versus lecturing.


This can be a huge area of contention for students and parents.   I have a strategy that has worked well for us with our older children.  At a certain point in your child’s student career you have to be willing to hand over the reigns to them.  This can mean something different for different kids and families and you certainly will know your child best.  For us it worked well to slowly transition all areas of managing their own school work to them – which began at the end of elementary school.  Instead of having a certain “homework” time period set aside, they were given the opportunity to do it on their own time frame, as long as it got done.  When they blew it, they fell back under my rules and regulations.  After a while they were given the chance to try again.  It only took a short while, but they managed to do their work on their own and learned a valuable time management skill.  They also learned about making choices and how a wrong choice on their part could affect them.

I cannot express enough that it is a process and you slowly give the reigns over.  I am so happy to say that with our second high schooler, he has proven himself to be responsible, realizes the outcomes of his sometimes poor choices and he takes responsibility for them rather than blaming others.  In my opinion your child has to take complete ownership of their high school career, otherwise they will get to college and continue to look to you to manage their time and may have the perception that they can blame you when things don’t work out.

After-School Employment

With regard to an after-school job, I think it needs to be made clear that if school work begins to suffer due to the extra time taken to fulfill a job commitment, then they will have to give notice to their employer.  Keeping the priority on school first and foremost is where the focus needs to remain.  These years prior to college are critical for teens to learn time management skills, prioritizing what is important and what should take their time and also managing money.  Take it from a mom who has sent one off to college and seen some mistakes I’ve made in the process, you will want to do what you can to help foster these skills.

Report Cards

This is the defining moment.  If your teen brings home a report card that signifies he or she is not doing well, things start to get ugly.  Why not decide ahead of time some expectations before the school year begins.  This could be as general as an expectation for a ‘C’ in certain classes or other criteria.  You know your child best, so decide what area they are strong in and set those expectations and perhaps have different expectations for areas they struggle in.  Encouraging them to do their best – period.

When a report card comes home with less than desired outcomes, we’ve found it very helpful to sit down and have an adult conversation with them, no accusations, no condemnation, but rather a joint discussion on reasons why the grades are low and find ways they can be improved. In the course of the discussion, we’ve had two way communication that has resulted in our child coming up with problem solving techniques on their own, rather than us just telling them what they should do.  When you allow your child to have some control over a situation and the outcome you are giving them a powerful skill.

One thing I love to share with other parents who have teens, is to be clear on what your goals are when you send your kids off on their own after they graduate.  I want a self-sufficient adult who can problem solve, feel confident that they can come to me for help when their ideas run dry and know that I will be their biggest supporter, regardless of their progress.  Believe me, we’ve been challenged in this area this past year and it is hard.  We can take the time to build skills in their lives, but the results may be less than what we truly desire for them.  Remember, just because your child may make choices and performs different than what you feel they should doesn’t mean you should do anything less but love them.

We can love our kids BIG and still make choices to not help them continue to make the same mistakes.  If you have a teen or young adult child who is trying your patience and keeping you on your knees, know you are not alone!

What area with your teen causes the biggest conflict?







This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase we receive a portion of your purchase at no extra cost to you. Thanks for supporting The Confident Mom.