boundaries-expectations

So What Did You Really Expect? Challenging Our Kids to Be Their Best

By Tami Shaver, LSW
Program Director

Every parent struggles to figure out how to set boundaries and expectations with their children. And about the time you figure it out, the kids grow up a little and those boundaries and expectations have to shift. Big Brothers and Big Sisters have the same questions with how to set expectations for their Littles, who are clearly not their own children. The goal is that any boundaries and expectations are helping the child to develop into a more functioning human being. We want to help them to be great adults some day!

The Search Institute has this thing they’ve developed, based on years of research, called the 40 Developmental Assets? They are 40 “building blocks” that kids need to succeed. The more they have, the better they tend to do in life. Those 40 Assets are broken down into 8 categories. It just so happens that one of those categories focuses on Boundaries and Expectations. You can see the list of assets in the Boundaries and Expectations category below, along with links to the Search Institute’s ideas on how to take action in those categories. I chose this category, not only because it is something our parents and volunteers struggle with at times, but also because it shows how many different groups of people are involved in helping a child develop to adulthood. Obviously, families are on the front lines with their kids and have incredible influence with their children, but schools, neighborhoods, peers and mentors also have a place in helping kids establish boundaries and expectations in their own lives. Isn’t there an old adage about “It takes a village…?” I encourage everyone, but especially our parents and Bigs, to look at what they can do to help kids in this category and to watch the webinar below, which goes into some studies regarding the setting of expectations for our kids.

 

BOUNDARIES AND EXPECTATIONS

  1. Family Boundaries| Family has clear rules and consequences and monitors the young person’s whereabouts.
    SHOW ME HOW TO TAKE ACTION
  2. School Boundaries| School provides clear rules and consequences.
    SHOW ME HOW TO TAKE ACTION
  3. Neighborhood Boundaries| Neighbors take responsibility for monitoring young people’s behavior.
    SHOW ME HOW TO TAKE ACTION
  4. Adult Role Models| Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
    SHOW ME HOW TO TAKE ACTION
  5. Positive Peer Influence| Young person’s best friends model responsible behavior.
    SHOW ME HOW TO TAKE ACTION
  6. High Expectations| Both parent(s) and teachers encourage the young person to do well.

 

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