This baby bird has an instinctual expectation.

It is expecting the parent to keep it safe and bring food – regularly. This little baby doesn’t question its worthiness to be loved and nurtured. It is born with an expectation and this is exactly what keeps it alive.

Every kind of baby has that same face,  so full of innocent expectation. They enter into this world not capable of knowing the dangers that are lurking outside their door. Whether they are born in a nest, den, field or hospital – they all have one factor in common. All babies are born with naive expectation that everything will be OK. Why would they question the arrival of their existence into the Universe? Babies of every species demand attention. They demand their caregivers commit to their survival. After all, it wasn’t their procreating activities that brought themselves here.

They expect life to be fair.

One of the hardest scenes to witness in your child’s life is the day they realize life is not fair. Not the “Betty got the new toy and not me” kind of not fair but a realization that even though they did the right thing, they still got burned. The day your child realizes that the rest of the world does not offer the same kind of unconditional acceptance that you do. The day they understand they will have to change their perspective about expectations. How they view this event will affect their future perceptions of their value.

I have studied the subject of confidence and self-esteem for many years. I am curious about what elements need to be present for a person to achieve happiness. What personality factors determine a person’s self esteem and ability to choose a productive path in life?

I read about a study done a few years ago. The purpose of the study was to observe families in different economic conditions and determine how those conditions could affect parenting styles and ultimately the children’s well-being and future prospects for fulfillment.

As a single grandparent of 3 young girls, I am intensely aware of how economic conditions affect child rearing.

tire swing joy

There is only so much time in the day…

The study does not represent any group negatively. Researchers followed the families around and recorded conversations and situations. It was just unbiased observances.

What the study revealed was that how we interact with our children can, among other things, affect their expectation of what life has to offer. The parents that routinely structured activities to purposefully engage their children, created adults that felt confident in their contributions.

For example, in one situation a mother is driving her son to the doctor for a routine visit. As she drove her son, the mother talked about what to expect. She also asked her son if there was anything he wanted to ask the doctor. In fact, he did have a question about an unrelated rash. His mother advised the boy to ask the doctor about it. This gesture taught the son to value himself. It taught him to believe his expectations not only could be met but, in fact, should be met.  When the mother and son were in the office, the boy did ask questions. The doctor was impressed with the boys’ thoughtfulness and answered him properly. Lesson reinforced.

I thought about my childhood and driving with my mom. First of all, she would not have asked me if there was anything I wanted to ask the doctor. Second of all, she would have made clear that my job was to sit there quietly and do as your told. After all, the doctor knows best, right?

As I mentioned earlier, I have read many books about self-esteem and confidence. (I need some, so I read everything I can.) I am curious about how some people can be so confident in themselves and some of us question every decision we make with heart pounding anxiety.

One of the answers is  expectation. I am learning to approach my decisions and interactions with the expectation that I am doing the right thing.

I am learning to value my own opinion – just like that mother was teaching her son on the way to the doctor. I may not have had the benefit of learning this skill as a kid, but I can sure do it now!

I was created with every bit of promise as that little bird or the kid that was born into advantages I didn’t have.

We all should have an expectation that we have value. We need to believe we have something important to offer the Universe before others will.

Expect life to give you opportunities to fulfill your life. Expect to succeed. See yourself accomplishing your goals.

I would love to hear about your stories of inspiration.

What are your expectations?




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