Great expectations

5 - 11 years
Child with thumbs up

Your child’s self-esteem and achievement can improve if you have high (but realistic) expectations.

Set high, but achievable expectations

Children whose parents have high expectations of them tend to strive to reach them. Talk about how you expect them to try their best to achieve their academic goals. You could mention your expectations to your child in everyday conversation. For instance, ‘I hope you have a great day at school today and do your best on your maths test’.

Celebrate success

When your child makes progress towards their goals (like getting their best-ever result on their maths quiz, or learning a new piece of music), it is important to celebrate their success. This can be as simple as a ‘high five’ or a special treat to mark the occasion. Let them know you are proud of the effort they have made and what they have achieved.

Move on from setbacks

Reassure your child that setbacks happen. Encourage them to see that in every error, there is an opportunity to learn, and to look positively towards learning their next achievement.

Adjust expectations to change

Changing circumstances can affect your plans. An expectation to do well in their favourite subject could become unachievable, due to your child missing school from illness, or an injury could prevent your child from competing in the sports competition they were preparing for.

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Last modified
17 April 2020