My child knows I expect them to do certain things like hanging up their wet towel, putting their dish in the dishwasher, doing their homework, and getting to school on time, yet why aren’t these things getting done? Why do I continue to sound like a broken record asking them to do it?
Chandler proposes that we all have two choices – to have expectations or to create agreements with others.
Notice how each choice has a different outcome.
When you have expectations of others, you set yourself up for disappointment. People don’t look forward to living up to expectations and oftentimes expectations aren’t clearly stated, but rather implied. People actually rebel and don’t like expectations.
Rather than expect anything of another person, what if instead, you were to make an agreement? An agreement involves both parties in creating something that will work for both.
According to Chandler “when you work with others to co-create an agreement, you involve them in creating something that will work.”
Why don’t our children do what we expect?
- People don’t look forward to living up to expectations. They will often rebel.
- Expectations can be reactive, fear based, and lead to placing blame and putting the responsibility on other people.
- When you have expectations of someone and they don’t live up to it, this leads to disappointment and feeling betrayed.
- If you have an expectation and they do live up to it, then you say, so what, I expected it. In this case, there can be a feeling of nothing at all, boredom, and a low-grade resentment with a sense of worry.
Why Create Agreements?
- When we create agreements with others we involve each other and discuss what is realistic and what works.
- We get “buy in” because the other person creates it and gives his/her word which increases the likelihood that it will get done.
- Responsibility shifts to the person creating the agreement and the two, together, have a partnership alliance with each other.
- Agreements are courageous and creative.
The preferred way is to work with others to co-create agreements vs. have expectations. Give it a try. If you don’t like a situation – go create an agreement and see what happens.
Note: These are the types of ideas we discuss during the Parenting Workshops.