Using Expectation Explanations in Your Parenting (Live Video Training)

Using Expectation Explanations in Your Parenting (Live Video Training)

So I started a thing last week. I, alliteratively of course, call it “Donna Daily.” But it is a FB video challenge in which I go live every weekday for the month of June to teach about what I know and love or what has made a difference in our family, my life, my health, my relationships, my productivity, and more. (So what I know and love!) It is themed by the day (Mama Monday, Teaching Tuesday, etc.), and I’m pretty excited about it! (Learn more about it here!)

And I will periodically be sharing the videos here at the Character Ink blog, at Write for a Month, and at my lifestyle blog ( as the topics are applicable. So this is one of those!

On the first Mama Monday, I shared a favorite parenting tool we used for three decades (and still use with our grandbabies!) called Expectation Explanations. I have the full outline and video below!

Also, if you have heard me teach about something that you would like to hear again or learn more about, shoot me an email or private message, and I’ll work it into the Donna Daily schedule!

Love and hope,


Expectation Explanations


A. Honoring JaNon


1. Almost there…..14 year old said “Time for Mom and Dad to tell us about the party!”
2. Five parties in a row to get to, can’t stay long at first couple
3. “Do not go off and play at this one. We are just going in, honoring JaNon, and then heading out.”
4. Loaded everyone back up in “Big Blue”—-three year old forgot something–“I forgot to honor JaNon!”

B. Expectation Explanations


1. What are they

2. Why?

a. Helps children adjust behavior;

b. Wards off problems;

c. Keeps parents from having to nag;

d. Takes away all vagueness—which is one of the biggest problems parents and kids face in child discipline and behaviors.

3. Rather than being a fire fighter who is constantly putting out fires, we become the builder who builds with fire repellant materials, installs fire alarms throughout, places fire extinguishers in certain places, etc. We are practicing Preventive Parenting–parenting in such a way that we prevent problems that are preventable.

4. Teaching for the future—-everything we do builds on future teaching!

5. Shouldn’t they do what I say without explanations?

C. When to Use


1. Giving time warnings to young children:

a. Play time ending;

b. Bedtime close;

c. Leaving time;

d. Raise kids with “This is the five minute call!” Security and getting rid of vagueness.

2. Explaining Expectations as we travel in order to warn/prepare children for the environment and surroundings they will be in:

a. Seniors and people with special needs;

b. Voices, actions, etc.

3. Using Explaining Expectations to build family unity and sibling loyalty:

a. Who are your best friends tonight:

b. Who do we defend and love more than anyone else here?

4. How Explaining Expectations helps you as a parent to develop your family’s acceptable and unacceptable behavior and character list (or mental list)

5. Starting early helps kids look at them as positive things:

a. not outside-inflicted boundaries later—they come to expect that your family will talk about expectations in all situations.

b. This carries over to pre-teen and teen years as you’re driving them places, etc.

c. It’s not looked at as lectures but something your family always does.


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Summer Family Bucket List To Grow

Summer Family Bucket List To Grow

Summer Family Bucket List

I have loved seeing families’ bucket lists on Facebook! They make me wish that bucket lists were popular when my kids were little!

(Well, I guess we made our own Bucket List with our Summer School Goals—oh, my kids loved those!)

And I love having fun as a family…I mean, honestly, we were a FUN family. And we still go to Disney World as a family every five years!!! (Thanks to Plexus, we are moving that up to every three years!)

But for this post, I would like to propose a different bucket list than the traditional, fun, memory-making bucket list. It is the Summer Family Bucket List to Grow.


12 Tips for Building Emotional Intelligence in Our Children


There is a lot of talk in the world of “adulting” about emotional intelligence. People who are emotionally intelligent know how others are feeling. They know what to say and what not to say in a social media thread. They are aware of their surroundings, etc.

I recently came upon yet another list of commonalities of those with emotional intelligence. As I read through the list (they truly are good commonalities), I couldn’t help but think about how many of them were our goals for our children before we had ever learned about such a thing as emotional intelligence. (Many of them are, after all, grounded in the golden rule!)


Singing Through The Christmas Story

For not really being “singers”—and for most of us not really knowing that much about music—we are a pretty “sing-ee” family! We love to sing hymns and worship songs while we’re driving or sitting around the living room. If one of our pianists is here (Kara and Cami), it’s even better! At Christmas time, we really getting into the singing spirit! We love to memorize a complete carol (all the verse) and sing it together; we love to drive around looking at lights and have someone lead out when a certain decoration or sight reminds him of a carol; we love to “sing through the Christmas story.”


Christmas in the Car {reprint}


Tonight as we drove home from an extended family Christmas gathering, reading aloud and singing, I was reminded of an old article I wrote for our newsletter several years ago—Christmas in the Car. I will post it in its entirety below—gotta sneak in those family times any chance we get as our kids get older!


Charlie Brown Christmas (reprint)


“Linus’ reading of the story of the Nativity was, quite simply, the dramatic highlight of the season.” Harriet Van Horne in the “New York World Telegram” December 1965

Every year our family enjoys reading about Christmas traditions and songs—how they began, what they mean, etc. One of my favorite readings is the story of how “A Charlie Brown Christmas” came about—and continues to bless people today. Read my “story behind the Charlie Brown Christmas” below aloud to your family—then watch the movie (or at least check out the given links from youtube). Have fun!

On Thursday, December 9, 1965 (nearly fifty years ago!), “A Charlie Brown Christmas” made its debut on CBS on television screens all over the United States. Surprising the network executives, this darling Christmas story was an immediate hit. It seems that its creator, Charles Schulz, battled with the powers-that-be at the network concerning the show’s religious content (CBS thought it was too religious) and the kids’ voices (citing that they should be professional actors, not children). Additionally, they felt that Vince Guaraldi’s theme music was too modern for kids’ tastes. (The jazz soundtrack has, by the way, become a classic.)

Rumor has it that through the years it has been suggested that Linus’ reading of the Christmas story from Luke be taken out of the movie. However, forty-five years later, this classic still contains that powerful passage from Luke, those sweet child voices, and that catchy music*—and each year the true story of Jesus’ birth and the reason for the season—is proclaimed via the secular media.



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