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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