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Thread: Different expectations for different children

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    In Bankworld with Barbara

    Default Different expectations for different children

    DH and I have been talking recently about how we have different expectations of our kids when it comes to education.

    See, Lindsay is very bright and is going great guns academically - better than we could have hoped - but we always knew that he would because of his personality which is very analytical and he thinks outside the square and learning just comes easily to him.

    Erin on the other hand has a totally different personality - she is more dreamy and imaginative and loves to be creative and sing and dance. She is also very interested in music and singing. So when she goes to school we don't expect her to do as well as Lindsay academically because of their personality differences. Not that we think she will struggle, because she is still a bright little girl, but we think she will excel in different areas to Lindsay. Like we think she will lean towards music programs and learning an instrument and the creative arts and that sort of thing.

    So my question was do you think that we are not being fair to her by not expecting the same things of her? Naturally we encourage them to be happy and to try their best, but when she starts school we just don't expect the same results as Lindsay. But on the other hand, we don't want her to feel she has to be in his shadow and try to be like him if she isn't.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Blackburn, Melbourne


    My younger brother suffered a great deal from being constantly compared to me at school - 'you're nothing like your sister' - as I was very strong academically and he took a lot longer to excel in that area. In a former life I was a teacher and also saw children not reach their potential because not much was expected of them. With my friends' children, it seems to be very common for siblings to develop one set of skills before another - one will be stronger with language/writing intially whilst the other will be strongest at maths first.

    I think the key is to strike a balance between nurturing strengths and supporting 'weaknesses' whilst maintaining a very positive environment in which it is perfectly OK for people to have varying strengths and weaknesses.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Melbourne, Australia


    I would think you were being unfair if you did have the same expectations of her. You have already recognised your children have different skills so it is perfectly natural that you would have different expectations of them. I think appreciating the differences is the best thing you could do.

  4. #4
    Tigergirl1980 Guest


    I don't think it's good to have expectations on anyone let alone children. I think it's wonderful to encourage them in the things that they think are important and excel at rather than push them into things that they don't want. I think that's where they dig their heels in and do badly. Not that I am saying that they shouldn't be encouraged at all in the things that they don't like, they should be because I think sometimes they don't realise that one of the things they don't like may be important and related to the thing that they do like if they want to use that in a career iykwim?

    So no I don't think you aren't being fair to her, I think you are being very fair to her by not putting someone else's expectations on her. I always think it's sad that some parents compare their children and use it against them. So I think what you're planning on doing is a wonderful thing and one less thing she will be able to complain about when she's a teenager, lol.

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