I recently wondered how I was doing as a mom. We mothers don’t get much feedback, apart from the kind we give ourselves by comparing our lives to Pinterest or Facebook and generally, that leaves us feeling left behind, far behind the pack. Flabby with a messy house and sticky-faced kids. At least that’s how it goes for me during Pinterest forays.
But “the pack” doesn’t really care how we are doing as parents. The people who do care are the ones we’re parenting.
I wondered what my nine-year old would say if I asked her for a job review, like the kind I would receive if I were a full-time employee at a company. She isn’t my boss (contrary to what she might think) but I wanted to hear how I was doing, from her perspective.
So I asked her some questions and she answered some answers. What was most striking about this process was how seriously my daughter took it. She listened to my questions and articulated her ideas. She knew I was listening, that I was taking her answers seriously. I asked follow-up questions and ensured her that she could be completely honest.
It was both precious and insightful, and I strongly encourage other parents to ask their kids for a job review as well. Feel free to use these (quite basic) questions or build from them to create your own parenting review.
Here is our comprehensive parenting performance report:
Q. How am I doing as a mom?
“I think you’re doing great, because I love you and lots of kids might not love their mom or might get frustrated with her.”
Q. How do I show you that I care about you?
“You give presents, tell me that you love me. Every time I get frustrated or angry, you tell me that you love me.”
Q. Are there times you feel like I don’t care about you?
“Not that I remember, but my head sometimes tells me that and I start patting it and telling it to stop because I don’t want to think that because I know you do care about me.”
Q. Do I remember things that are important to you?
“Yes, you remember to put me to bed at night and I like that. You remember my birthday.”
Q. What could I do better?
“If I told you what I wanted you to do better and then you did it, that would feel different and wouldn’t feel right and I wouldn’t be happy with the new way.”
Q. What do I do that bugs you?
“Tease me. That’s all. Oh, and you sweat too much when you run.”
Q. Are there things that you worry about in our family?
“I worry about you dying some day. I was worried about money before but not anymore.”
Q. What else would you like to say?
“Sometimes I’m actually happy that I get frustrated, like with video games, and then I calm down and I’m like ‘its just a game, who cares,’ and I feel happy again. So when I get frustrated, you don’t need to take it so seriously.”
Let’s be clear, I frustrate my daughter plenty of times. And I do plenty of things that bug her. She gave me a pretty easy time of it. Things might go differently, were I to ask my teenagers. That’s the next step …
Would you ever ask your kids for a parenting performance review?More On