Are You Dumping Your Expectations on Your Children?


As parents, it is natural for you to want the best for your children. However, to ensure the appropriate development of kids, it is important that your expectations from them remain realistic and don’t go over the board. While setting some rules and expectations is a sign of healthy parenting, crossing the line can be damaging to children. When parents dump all their expectations on children, it often allows anxiety to seep in, which is thereby followed by the feeling of inadequacy and a lack of autonomy.

We at Gurukul The School, positioned among the top 5 CBSE schools in Ghaziabad, understand that every parent wants to see their children succeed, become happy, and experience fulfillment. However, we also understand what children feel when they get overburdened by their parent’s expectations. Hence, we have created this article to highlight how dumping expectations on children can be damaging to them and how parents can recognize signs that they are unhealthily dumping their expectations on their kids.

Adverse Effects of Dumping Expectations on Kids

Children can experience numerous adverse mental and emotional health effects when their parents dump unrealistic expectations on them. Developing low self-esteem is a common side effect, followed by crippling anxiety, stress, rebellion, strained relationships, and loss of passion. When children feel they lack autonomy, they may rebel or try to achieve perfectionism to please their parents. None of this is healthy and can negatively affect the kid’s life in the long run.

Signs You’re Dumping Your Expectations on Your Children

If you’re wondering whether you’re dumping unnecessary expectations on your children, the following signs might help. Take some time and analyze whether the following applies to you about your children:

Setting Unrealistic Goals
It is the most common sign of dumping expectations on children. The definition of unrealistic goals will differ for every kid and parent. For example, some parents might want their children to excel in all subjects and top the class. It can be an unrealistic goal if the children are not interested in all subjects.

When parents set unrealistic goals for children, feelings of inadequacy start creeping in. It can eventually lower your kid’s morale and bring him closer to failure. The goal can also be unrealistic if parents want their child to become an athlete, but it is not what the child wants and also isn’t physically active.

Constant Comparison with Others
Comparing your children with others is also a sign that you’re dumping your expectations on your children. We at Gurukul The School firmly believe that every child is special and has special skillsets unique to them. When you compare your kids to other children, they eventually start doubting their abilities instead of honing the skills they’re good at.

If you frequently compare your kid with their friends, cousins, neighborhood kids, etc., you need to immediately stop doing that and instead look for better and healthy alternatives to communicate your expectations. Adopt healthy communication channels and set realistic expectations so your children can excel in their desired fields and become successful.

Punishing for Not Meeting Certain Expectations
One of the most apparent signs that you’re dumping your expectations on your children is you’re punishing them whenever they don’t meet your expectations. Punishment can be in any form, but it is enough to shake your kid’s belief in their abilities. For example, you can take your kid’s mobile phone or drastically reduce their play time when they don’t score above your set limit. However, when you continue punishing your children like this, they start feeling valued only for their achievements. To make them feel valued and encouraged for who they are, you should not punish them for not meeting certain expectations.

Following this punishment method can eventually lead your kid to become overly focused on gaining external validation and perfectionism. Both are highly negative traits that we are sure none of you would want your kids to develop.


We at Gurukul The School, one of the top 5 CBSE schools in Ghaziabad, firmly believe that kids succeed when their unique knacks and abilities are honed to perfection, and parents should also take it seriously. There is nothing wrong with expecting your children to achieve success, but things can turn wrong when parents start setting unrealistic expectations from their children. Expecting your child to become good at something that he/she is not interested in can disrupt your child’s growth trajectory. Thus, it is time you, as parents, reflect on your set expectations and analyze whether they are valid. We assure you it will help both you and your children in the long run.

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