High Expectations Yield Disappointment

May 6 , 2023
By Kidist Yidnekachew ( Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at kidyyidnekachew@gmail.com. )

I recently watched a video of a mother and her young daughter travelling by air. The lady nicely asked a man seated next to them by the window to switch seats with her daughter right before landing. She explained that watching the plane land calms her.

Some people would gladly switch their seats with the girl because it does not seem like giving up a lot while others might have done it for it is attributed to benevolence.

However, the man declined the request saying although he was capable, he wanted the girl to learn a valuable lesson- she cannot always get her way.

I thought it was an unpleasant reply at first but it was a worthwhile lesson.

We are taught to sacrifice our needs for others. There are times when a person is morally required to give up seats on public transport for the disabled, pregnant women, the elderly and the sick. This has led some to expect the same courtesy from everyone and take it personally when they do not comply.

It is impossible to constantly influence the outcome of situations in the world we live in. Similarly, it is selfish and absurd to expect people to adjust their routines to fit the needs of others.

It was a valuable lesson for the mother as well. There are parents on the other extreme that go above and beyond to provide their children with what they want.

There is an inspiring thread on Quora where people reflected on killing someone with kindness.

A woman talks about how she was a helicopter mom to her son. She considered him a miracle child after several miscarriages. He was homeschooled, pampered with money and had his own car. She found friends for him and played matchmaker for dates, basically executing everything. But at the age of 20, he ended up taking his own life.

She believes over-parenting might have led to his suicide.

Sometimes parents even with the best intention at heart contribute to the suffering of their children. Living in a bubble cultivates entitlement to special treatment. It makes the child extra sensitive to their surrounding and tends to experience major setbacks at the smallest obstacle they face.

Children should be exposed to both the good and the bad, lest they grow up weak and easily entrapped in life's mishaps. Putting a stop to their unreasonable demands and being firm on the decision is necessary.

Parents should let their children practice independence especially when playing and interacting with others. There will be times when they have to interfere but not always. Teaching them personal responsibility such as cleaning up after themselves could guide them to be independent.

Parents should not expect royal treatment for their kids from society since they are only special to them. It also makes it easier for kids to get along with others when they are treated impartially.

I find it a good rule to follow that children are no longer special the minute they leave home.

PUBLISHED ON May 06,2023 [ VOL 24 , NO 1201]

Kidist Yidnekachew has degrees in psychology and journalism and communications. She can be reached at kidyyidnekachew@gmail.com.

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