So . . .What Do You Expect?
What do you expect out of life?
- “The other shoe to drop.”
- “Not much.”
- “Someone is going to let me down.”
- “I never get a break.”
What do you expect from your daughter?
- “She’s going to blow it.”
- “It’s too late.”
- “Now what is she up to?”
- “She is going to wreck the car.”
- “She is not going to get into a good college.”
- “Where else is she lying to me?”
We don’t want these things to happen, but if we are not careful, we can start expecting these things to happen.
We think we are being realistic because of our prior experience.
Be careful of what you expect–you just might get it.
You might as well expect what you want, instead of what you don’t want. Here’s another way to say it. Expect the best for you and your daughter and not the worst.
5 Good Reasons to Expect the Best for You and Your Daughter
1. Expecting the best is being realistic
I am not saying you should put your head in the sand. Your daughter needs you to keep your eyes open. It’s important to be educated, aware, and wise so you can best protect her. She needs accountability and boundaries.
It’s not about perfection. Your daughter will have her drama moments. She will experience failure and make mistakes.
But this is not the whole story. Being realistic also takes into consideration that she has strengths. Her failures and mistakes are not the end of the story. These low times can be defining moments of transformation, courage and determination. It’s never too late to turn your life around. She can get over whatever she is struggling with. But it is crucial that you believe this.
2. Replace fear and worry with faith
Fear is expecting what you don’t want. Faith is hoping and believing for what you do want.
Write down all your fears. Now turn it around and write down what you do want.
It takes the same amount of imagination and energy to believe what you DON’T want as it does to believe what you DO want. Why not focus it on what you do want?
Go deep with your faith. God wants good things for you and your daughter. Believe that God wants to bless you and your daughter. What do you have to lose?
3. Expect Big Things
Expect big things and pray big prayers. Pray big prayers for your daughter instead of survival prayers. Fear based prayers are focused on preventing disaster. “God don’t let her do anything stupid.” “Don’t let her make bad decisions.” “Don’t let her get in an accident.”
This is important, but there is so much more. Pray for what you do want. “God help my daughter excel in school.” “Send her awesome friends and opportunities.”
4. Expecting good things in everyday situations and the big picture takes practice.
a. Daily situations
Instead of expecting your daughter to be in a foul mood, imagine her in a great mood. I mean really try to picture her that way. Then approach her as if she was in a fabulous mood. You will be amazed at the difference this can make.
b. The big picture
Instead of defaulting into fear, see your daughter happy and surrounded with a great group of friends and picture her making good decisions and getting into her dream college.
***This does take practice. You will default into fear and worry. But you can keep working at turning it around. With practice the turnaround time gets faster and faster.
5. Your expectations are powerful
Your expectations are powerful for several reasons. Your expectations direct your attention which directs your life. If you expect that things are not going to work out, you look for evidence that things aren’t going to work out. The result of this is that you miss all the good evidence that things will work out.
I once had a single woman client tell me, “You are not going to believe what happened.” And then she listed nine annoying thing that happened the past week. Then she said, “I wonder what horrible things are going to happen next week.”
I lovingly stopped her and said if you keep expecting annoying things to happen they will. Start expecting good things to happen. Well, she did and she met the love of her life.
Your expectations for your daughter are powerful. Even if all the evidence seems to confirm that your worst fears about your daughter are true, do you really want to be right? Even though it feels counter intuitive, believe what you want for your daughter or what God wants for your daughter. Your daughter will feel your confidence in her and you will see her start to change.
I want to challenge you this week. Expect good things for you and your daughter. Do this as an experiment and see what happens.