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The crushing weight of expectations

Most parents are known to love their children unconditionally, sacrifice for their protection and betterment. They experience pure delight when they see their children successful, but at many junctures, their love can become a bit misguided and cause them to heavy-handedly impose some pretty heavy expectations, some of which may even crush the cherished dreams of their children.

There are ways in which both parents and children can attempt to meet each other halfway in this regard. Parents can take the first step by making the time and effort to understand the God-given capabilities and interests of their children and encourage them accordingly, instead of imposing their own arbitrary expectations. Of course, there is a space to convey one’s reasonable expectations, but there must be ample space given to the children to grow through making their own decisions, and even failing sometimes. Most importantly, this space should be a safe space where the children are not compared with others or put down.

As children, how do we deal with parental pressure? Keeping the lines of communication open is the key. Honest conversations about parents’ expectations can not only help them to set reasonable expectations, but may also help us see how we can get better with utilising our time and resources to actualise our God-given potential. Such conversations can also be used to set emotional boundaries, in order to be mindful of our mental health. Getting mentors into this process of communicating with parents can be helpful in many instances. Most importantly, it would help to do all these things prayerfully, involving God even in the small details of our life, because he cares

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