We have certain expectations of our children:
- We expect them to go to church. There have been times in their lives when they were younger that they have said they don’t want to go. We just say, “I understand, but that’s what we do.” So when they became teenagers, they know they are going.
- We expect them to be respectful. We don’t let them talk bad about people, especially their dad and me. We are not their friends, we are their parents and deserve respect. They say Mr. and Mrs. and Brother and Sister. We try very hard not to let them call adults by their first name.
- We expect them to be present and on time for family prayer and scripture study every morning. We believe this is a very important commandment which bonds our family together. If they miss family prayer, they don’t get use of their cell phone that day. It’s great motivation to get them going every morning.
- We expect them to get good grades. They are very fortunate to all be extremely smart, and there is no excuse for bad grades. If they are really struggling in a class and not understanding, that is one thing. But if they are getting bad grades because they are lazy, that is a problem. I check their grades several times a week, and if they fall below a B-, they lose their electronics until the grades go back up.
- We expect them to fast on Fast Sunday. This starts when they are little. When they turn 6, they start fasting one meal, usually lunch. When they turn 8, they fast both breakfast and lunch. We talk a lot during they day about what they are fasting for (are they fasting, or are they going hungry). This may seem a little young, but it gives them a good foundation to stand on when they get older.
- Basically, we expect them to obey the commandments. We do work with them and help them understand why, and help them to develop their testimonies.
- We expect them to practice their music instruments. Thanks to my mother, I play they piano, so I have been able to teach them piano. They will never be classical pianists, but if they can play the hymns, that is all I want. They each also play another instrument, thanks to the music program at the schools. The Teenager played the trumpet for 4 years, and now plays the guitar. The Artist plays the drums, and is trying to learn the guitar. The Chocoholic plays the flute. And when The Princess is old enough, she will get to chose an instrument as well.
- We expect them to help out around the house, including daily chores. We have a chore chart which lists who has which chores that week, so they know when I say, for example, the table needs to be set, who is responsible for that. It eliminates a lot of arguing.
What expectations do you have for your children?