Just for Dads ~ December 2019

by Ward Williams

On Sunday, November 3, Alabaster City Schools dedicated its new Bosendorfer Imperial Concert Grand Piano with a concert in its state of the art Performing Arts Center. During the intermission, the superintendent of schools asked me, “Who would have thought Thompson High School would host a concert like this in a facility like this?” I looked at Dr. Vickers and truthfully answered, “You did. You are the one who set the goals and high expectations for Alabaster schools.”

If you Google the definition of high expectations, you are bound to get a wide array of definitions. It seems to be a phrase that most everybody thinks is important, but there are many different definitions and meanings. The most common consensus is that it’s about attitudes and expectations that are forward thinking. Someone has to dream, set goals, and determine the direction and vision, or people pay a price.   

High expectations seem to be a common denominator between every successful, family, team, company, church, and government organization I have studied or been a part of. High expectations are an important part of protective factors of strong families.  A mistake parents may make is believing they can have high expectations for their children, but not have high expectations for themselves as parents.

Many parents stop thinking about ways that they can improve as adults and get stuck and settled in their ways. There is always room to grow and be forward thinking as you enter a new year, to learn new skills, to be an encouragement for others. The advantage to having high expectations on yourself is that you are continually improving, continually staying engaged to those around you, and continuing to seek ways to see a future no one else has thought of before.

My family and community are better for the high expectations and vision set by the Alabaster school leaders who saw Alabaster as a place that could be better. You and your children will benefit when you decide that you will never stop learning and never settle.

Ward Williams is the founder and executive director of Vineyard Family Services. Contact him at ward@vfsdads.com.

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