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Expectations and the Meaning of ABC-123

Let’s admit it, as parents we all get frustated when our children don’t do things they should have, or do things they shouldn’t have. They didn’t meet our expectations. But were the expectations clear in the first place? One technique to manage the expectations for both us and our children is called ABC-123.

The ABC means:

A – Analyze the situation. What is the expectation you have of your kids.

B – Bite your tongue before speaking. Ask yourself these questions: Is this realistic? Is it important? What else is currently going on? What time frames should your expectation be accomplished?

C – Communicate. Talk to them in a plain, matter-of-fact tone. Don’t yell. Explain your expectation and listen to their response. You may learn something and have to adjust your expectation.

Next, the 123 means:

1 – Explain what the expectation is and how to do it.

2 – Tell them when the expectation should be accomplished.

3 – Explain the consequences if they don’t meet the expectation.

Using this technique may take a little getting used to, but if you use it consistently, you’ll begin to see fewer temper tantrums and shouting matches. You’ll notice chores get done more regularly. And, most importantly, you’ll notice more self-sufficiency in your youngsters.

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When expectations are met, both parent and child are happy.

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