> Expectations.....

Expectations.....

Posted on Friday, April 10, 2009 | No Comments

“When i was born, they said, what a good boy, what a smart boy, what a strong boy. When you were born, they said, what a good girl, what a smart girl, what a pretty girl”

Expectation is always a difficult thing to manage. On one hand, you don’t want to get too excited or dependent on something, but equally it is all too easy to let these expectations spiral out of control and expect far too much.

I think at some point or another, we’ve all experienced both of these feelings. I know I certainly have and I have very high expectations right now, yet every time I let my mind race ahead of myself and get myself excited about them possibly happening, I’m also reluctantly trying not to set the expectation too high in order to ease the disappointment for when things don’t happen as I would ideally like to envisage them.

The guy who sits next to me at work has just had his first child, and whilst the rest of the office (especially the girls), swarm for every little detail, I – unsurprisingly, and perhaps quite evilly – have very little interest and have resorted to hiding behind my headphones and drowning out the noise. But every now and again, I hear the expectation level rising and the competition between the parents rising; oh my child did this, mine has done that, etc.

Obviously every parent wants the very best for their child, but there is a thing as too much pressure surely? There’s a Barenaked Ladies song, which I seem to be playing constantly, called “What a Good Boy” about the expectations that are placed on children at very young ages and how they have “got these chain, hang around our necks, people wanna strangle us, before we take our first breath”, effectively shackling them into a pressured environment and expectation levels being raised sky high.

Fortunately, the song ends rather well and is written from the point of view of the child fighting back and setting their own destiny: “I go to school, and I write exams. If I pass, if I fail, if I drop out, does anyone give a damn? And if they do, they’ll soon forget, cos it won’t take much for me to show that my life ain’t over yet”. Pushy parents are always expectant and I’m intrigued by just how much expectation I’m hearing in between music tracks and I’m fascinated by it.

I’m sure any child who does their very best is something any parent would be proud of, but I’m equally sure that these higher than high expectations need to be reigned in.


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