Helping Teens Understand the Difference Between Goals and Expectations

Helping Teenagers Understand the Difference Between Goals and Expectations 


C.A.R.E. is an assortment of licensed residential treatment centers offering services to teens in helping them to understand the difference between goals and expectations. We provide a nurturing and calming environment where troubled teens are able to step back from their lives at home and focus solely on recovery from bad behaviors and mood disorders.

Even though it may be easy for parents to have low expectations for teens who underperform academically or have behavior problems, failing to hold them to higher standards can worsen negative behaviors and ensure that they never achieve their goals. By setting expectations that are reachable but push your teen’s limits, you will increase their chances of success.

Setting Goals That Are Unachievable Can Lead to Frustration and Failure

Low expectations stem from a number of causes. In some cases, teenagers set their own low expectations by showing little initiative and failing to follow through on their obligations because they have no goals to reach. Setting expectations low can limit the teen’s opportunities to actualize her potential because she may not believe she is capable of achieving goals. On the other hand, expectations for adolescents should be achievable. Setting goals that are too high for the teenager’s innate abilities or current skillset can lead to frustration and failure. Raising low expectations involves sharing exactly what behaviors are expected of the teenager and holding the teen accountable for those behaviors.

To raise low expectations of teens is to help them discover their own strengths and potential, such as helping the teen to develop a realistic sense of his talents and abilities, or talking about values, morals and ideas about where the teenager sees himself as an adult. Parents can play an active role in their child’s goal setting by encouraging them to set high expectations and giving them the tools to follow through on their plans.


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