How Do You Think I’m Doing as a Parent?

July 18, 2011 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

If there is a list of questions we would never ask anyone, this would have to be near the top.  I’m not talking about the list of questions we shouldn’t ask like, “Would you like to see my toe warts?”  This is a question that we would never want to ask.

You see, I preached a sermon yesterday on parenting.  I’ll have to admit I was quite nervous all week leading up to it and was especially nervous giving said sermon.  Why? My perception, right or wrong, is that people don’t want you to meddle in that area.  We desperately want others to believe that we are great parents and have great kids.  We certainly don’t want anyone telling us that we don’t.

However, is there anything more important that we do than raise our children?  We are shaping the lives of small children, instilling values, pointing (or not pointing) them to God, learn right from wrong, building their self-image, setting the foundation for the rest of their lives, etc.  If it is this overwhelmingly important, why would we not want help or feedback?  (Was that rhetorical?) Because we don’t want anyone to think that we are failing, because it is that important.

Let’s imagine a world where you would ask that question to somebody.  Try again.  Let’s imagine a world where you would ask that question and want an honest answer. (I’m not talking about so-called questions like, “Do you think my baby is cute?” or “Does this dress make me look fat?”  Imagine a world where those questions are asked honestly.  Actually, let’s not.  Carry on.)  You go to a great friend, sibling, parent, someone who knows you well and ask,

“Do you see any areas where I could improve as a parent?”

“Do you think I’m too tough on them?”

“Do you think I’m too passive?”

“Would you consider my kids well-mannered and behaved?”

“Do they seem confident? fearful?”

There’s a line my wife and I throw around, “We would rather people think we have great kids, and we know better, than we think we have great kids and everyone else knows better.”  What?  We want to have kids that are polite and confident and good to be around, but we know that they have challenges and we are working on them.  We don’t want to think we have great, fun, spunky amazing kids and secretly our friends are trying to get out of having to hang out with us.

It is highly unlikely that you are failing as a parent.  You’re loving them right? You are trying to teach them right and wrong?  You are most likely doing ok.  But what if by asking a few questions, you could be doing better?  What if there were some small adjustments that you could make to improve?  Wouldn’t you want to make them?  Ask someone.  Ask your spouse.  Ask yourself.  Pray and ask God.

This is incredibly important.  That’s why I talk about it all the time.  I’m constantly evaluating myself.  I want to get better.  That’s why I blog about it as well.  You think I’m a great blogger, don’t you?  Please feel free to comment openly and honestly about that.  Say all the amazing things about me that you want.

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