Parenting Tip #3: Setting Expectations

Kids are not like us adults. We adults like to be surprised. We love to be thrust into situations we don't understand and can't control with no warning or opportunity to prepare. But kids... they are different. Did I mention I am fluent in sarcasm? Well I am. I even joined the "I'm Fluent In Sarcasm" group on Facebook. How's that for street cred. A prepared mind is a happy mind, regardless of age.

As luck would have it, while I was shooting this video with Sydney at my local Super Target, I saw the worst case scenario I am trying to advise against actually unfold before me. I saw a young couple with a 3 yr old child. Out of respect for their privacy I did not record the incident although I was tempted. Imagine a fussy and unruly child squealing out loud as the background music for this conversation between them.

Mommy, recognition dawning, "No walk on that side of him so he doesn't see the toy aisle. We need to hurry past it."

Daddy, slow to respond, "Oh no. He saw. It's too late. Maybe if we just walk with him down one aisle."

Mommy, already exasperated, "Fine. But let's hurry. He's going to get louder." (who hasn't been here?).

At this point the parents speed-line the kid, who is crying "I want toy! I want toy!", through the toy aisle, with glossy plastic words on their glossy plastic lips, as if everything is completely normal with this situation.

In this parenting tip I suggest a way to diffuse this problem.

Parenting Tip #3: Setting Expectations from dewde on Vimeo.

Now, I know not all kids are the same. I don't promise this works for all ages. However I do believe in the underlying principle. Helping make your children's world as predictable as possible will make tremendous progress towards a calm and happy kid.

Set expectations early and often. They deserve it.

NEXT: Parenting Tip #4 - Defussifying a Fussy Toddler