We grownups are wonderful people and best parents possible, in our own eyes. Now fortunately or unfortunately unlike our jobs, there are no annual appraisal for parenting, nobody to tell us how we did as a parent. But to look at it, nobody should be telling us “How to be good parent “.
But what about self-appraisal? Well if you are a corporate type, I am sure you are aware of the term and fill those long forms that are created to make you feel bad about your self-worth.
So at the end of the year how about a “Parenting Self-Assessment”. Though it should be a continuous process but most of us are happy to give ourselves 10/10 in parenting department. So here is what I suggest we all parents do as the year ends before we move to the next year.
A little cold hearted and mechanical it may sound but if you look the busy schedule most working parents have today get to see their kids only for few hours, that too between the extended conference calls.
So as most of us are now used to targets, deadlines, incentives, bonus, quantum jump, monetization, leverage, benchmarking and other words learned in our corporate life, let us use some of them for our parenting targets also.
The important thing is that you need to decide on a few simple yet quantifiable goals for 2016.
Let us keep a very simple goal that is easily measured if you are honest with yourself-
Weekly time spent with kids.
Now let us divided this is simple sub goals like I have given here
Helping with homework
Taking a walk in the garden
Talking about their day
Clicking pictures together
Looking at pictures of a few years ago together if the kids are more than 5 years age
Or anything else that is relevant to your specific situation. You can have as many things in the list or as few depending on how deep you want to go and how much you are out of sync with reality.
Once you have the goals for 2016 ready note them down and then rate yourself on the last year’s performance. This is where your honesty will come into play. While you will not have precise data but you will know how successful you were last year. Give yourself a score from 10 on each of your planned goal for 2016 and see where you scored on them.
Once you have the scores you will know what your areas of improvement are and where you need to spend more time. This is as simple as that but very difficult to implement.
A typical reaction to this by desi parents is that but we are already doing it and by putting it on paper you are taking the JOY of parenting away and making it into a chore.
But let us cross our heart and ask it- Are you doing all that you want to do with your children? (Note: With your children, not FOR your children and then you have your answer.)
The important thing to realize is the difference between what you do for kids and what you do with the kids.
Some example doing things with the kids are are
Things that you do for the kids are:
Buying stuff, putting them in a good school, working 18 hours a day and all.
But no amount of things you do for the children are a substitute for things “You do with the kids”
Once you know the difference and implement it, you will no longer need a self –appraisal form for parenting and your kids will love you for what you do with them and not for what you do for them.
Happy Parenting and a wonderful 2016.
Sasha and Prasad Np are proud parents of 2 girls whom they fondly call Princess and Pinkette. He wears many hats after taking a break from being corner office critter for a long time. He is now an entrepreneur, blogger, photographer, traveler and a potential investor in start-ups with unique concepts especially if they are in travel related business. He blogs at Desi Traveler, and can be reached at Facebook and Twitter.