Have you ever had an experience where your kids spent the night at a friend’s house and when they are dropped off, the parents remarked how polite and helpful your child was? While everyone wants their children to behave at their friends’ homes, sometimes you are left to wonder why they act differently there than they do at home.
Why is it that the kid who grumbles at clearing the table at home readily lends a hand for another mom? How come the youngster can remember to say “please” and “thank you” around others, but not to their own family?
Is it because you taught them to behave elsewhere and give them the freedom to “misbehave” at home?
If you are finding this sort of disconnect in your children’s behavior, it is a good time to step back and evaluate your own actions. It may be that you are indeed attracting less than perfect manners from your kids because of the messages that you are sending them.
It is human nature to relax in your own home around your loved ones. You feel safe. That’s a good thing. Sometimes this feeling safe can slide into not making an effort. This is where it is especially important for everyone to be clear on what the expectations are for all family members.
Before you think I’m merely talking about a list of chores, let me clarify.
Expectations are about behavior and responsibilities, but they are also about attitudes. These expectations will largely determine what you attract as a parent and what your children attract.
Teachers have learned that when they expect more from their students, the students do better. If the teacher has a preconceived notion that the student will not do well, their performance suffers.
The same principle may be at play here. There is no history between your child and their friend’s parent. When your children go to another home, the energy may be very different and they will therefore act differently. If that parent has an expectation that your children are polite and helpful, they are apt to fulfill that expectation. The friend’s parent praises the behavior, further supporting it.
I’m not suggesting that you treat your children like strangers. I am suggesting that you expect the best from your children and do whatever it takes to maintain that feeling about them. By shifting your energy and aligning with the highest version of your child, you will attract and support that behavior.
Then, the next time your children visit another friend, you will not be surprised at how well-behaved they are. You will know they are being their true selves, and you will be pleased because they are that way at home as well.
What are your thoughts?
© 2014. Sharon Ballantine. All Rights Reserved.