I recall a parent approaching me at the beginning of a school year when I taught fourth grade, concerned, because her daughter (who was an A student) had received a few lower grades in some assignments in my classroom. I explained that I was expecting the students to follow exact directions when completing their work. Her child had failed to follow the instructions provided in writing and missed a lot of answers because of it. I asked the parent to give me one month to train her daughter in following directions. She agreed. After just a few weeks, the student was back to getting A's because she learned a very important lesson in life. Follow directions. :) This student and mom knew I meant what I said and would be fair in my dealings with each student in my classroom.
I've carried the same standard in my home. If my kids know that the benchmark will be the same across the board, then there is safety and security in their heart. However, if I were to expect one thing one day and slack off the next day or if I were to expect different things from each child then, they would begin to get frustrated and maybe even angry with me because they would feel like I was not being fair. Eventually, the kids would stop caring and begin to be sloppy in their daily doings, which would lead me to frustrations, and possibly open the door to poor choices from both parties.
The way I see it is that God has called me to train my children. I want to help give them the tools to groom them to live a successful life. A life full of high standards. A life that represents their Heavenly Father well. One that is governed from within because the kingdom of God is within them. I have included a sample Student Expectation Covenant in this post. The items included in our covenant came out of the common problems I saw rising up in our home. I encourage you to make it your own. Create expectations by observing the areas you want your children to grow in, and then give them room to grow in a safe environment. It has been my experience that kids flourish with boundaries and structure! Hopefully you have found the same thing to be true. :)