Most of us face performance reviews on our jobs. While not a pleasant experience, the periodic assessments can help us determine important information: an employer or senior management’s satisfaction with our performance, an opportunity for salary adjustment based on performance, a determination of skills growth (or need for new skills,) a snapshot of our trajectory with the company. All of these are important indicators. We depend on the information they generate to make decisions about our employment future.
At school kids face similar assessments and reports to identify where they have achieved mastery or where they need remediation or enrichment. Since parents are an integral part of a child’s life, these reports are shared with us so that we too, can determine where we need to step up our involvement, back off and/or cheerlead their choices.
While work and school of core focal points or our lives and measuring progress in them an important information tool, another aspect of our lives equally in need of analysis and measurement is our role as parents. Parenting is, arguably, our most important responsibility. It is our legacy, our contribution to the future generations of our families.
Have you ever taken the time to assess your parenting goals and progress? How often do you and your partner discuss/define/review your parenting goals? If you have never actually hammered out specific goals, now is the best time to start. If it has been a while since you’ve taken stock, now is also the time to handle this review. Achieving success as parents is one of the most significant things we can accomplish in our lives. Think beyond the quick-response of “I just want my kids to be happy…” and consider what you believe are the skills, values, and behaviors that will ensure your child’s happiness, ability to support themselves, and impact the world positively.
Make your “Parental Job Review” with a neutral heart. You are looking for information not to ascribe blame or burden yourself (or your partner) with guilt. Assess your own performance and allow your spouse/partner to evaluate theirs. Share your thoughts about how you are doing. Ideally, you will be receptive to seeking and receiving their perspective on your strengths as well as your growth opportunities. Share this feedback with a genuine interest in improving your parenting and NOT in lobbing verbal hand grenades, back-handed criticisms, or sarcastic digs. Here are some questions to help you get started:
How clear is each of you about what you see as your strategy for accomplishing these goals?
How do they reflect your personal values?
How often do you measure progress so that you can make course corrections, identify what supports your vision versus what gets in your way or what is ineffective?
How have you tailored your approach for each child in your family?
How do you encourage your kids to think for themselves so that they do not fall prey to peer pressure and mob mentality?
When discussing Family Values, how do you explain then in terms your kids can understand and actions they can follow?
Listen to our podcasts on Adoption-attuned Parenting.
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by GIFT coach, Gayle H. Swift,
on her blog "Writing to Connect"