I said, “Children, I am disappointed that we are not seeing needs
around us and meeting them. I feel like we have started to do what we are asked, but then we disappear. Beyond that, I am surprised and a little frustrated that we are not seeing when others need help and that there are messes needing attention beyond our normal chores.”
Tears welled in some of the girl’s eyes. One stated, “I feel like
you are frustrated over something we didn’t know you wanted
Another added, “We are use to clear directions, not unknown expectations.”
Ah yes, I had been mulling these things around in my mind for a
few weeks, until they had become expectations. Yet, the truth is I had done zero communication about these now upped standards.
Sure, my expectations weren’t outlandish, or really anything new,
but they did need communicating instead of my thinking my children should know what I want.
It is a bit of a fine line, but I was declaring my disappointment
and frustration verses communicating an area I thought we needed to work on. A better way of addressing this would have been, “Children, I would like us to work on seeing needs around us and meeting them….” By not declaring my disappointment and frustration, I have made us a team working toward the same goal.
This conversation reminded me again that just because I am seeing things and thinking about them, doesn’t mean my children are seeing them and thinking about them. Communication bridges the gap between expectations and action.
Proverbs 1: 8 “Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching.”
Several times in Proverbs it tells sons to listen. I must be “teaching” (communicating) in order for my children to hear and to learn.