Perspective on any situation can become a valuable eye-opening tool.
As parents we want our households to run smoothly but that does not always happen. While I was wearing my Mom hat I created a mental image of my planned schedule and how I expected the day to progress. I would wait front door as Katie searched in vain for the book she needed. Like many parents, when our child’s carelessness derails our schedule we are ready to scold them and point out their failures and how we are inconvenienced.
Looking at the same scenario from Katie’s vantage point I can only guess how tough her morning must have been.
Katie: I worked so hard to improve my work—I want that A+ and I’ll do whatever it takes to get it! Dad likes my good grades. I make my own breakfast, eat and then put my dishes in the sink; mom likes when I help. Now floss and brush my teeth, wash my face now almost done. Everything in the backpack… wait, where’s my book – I need that book – not there – where could it be? Mom’s calling – I’ve GOT to have that book!
“Mom, I can’t find my book; I’ve got to turn it in or lose points on my final score!”
Never mind Katie’s score on a single, simple homework project, what would my grade be?
Now that I’ve got you looking at a situation from a child’s viewpoint, think about how your own children would grade you on these things:
• Fun: The ability to have fun with them.
• Teaching: Daily teaching of life-skills, values, math, carpentry, driving, etc.
• Discussion: The ability to listen and talk respectfully without lecturing.
• Meals: Cooking and eating meals together as a family.
• Affection: Hugs, kisses, pat on the head (shoulder, etc.), winks, smiles, etc.
• Patience: The ability to remain calm and not yell.
• Confidence: Giving a benefit of a doubt.
• Redemption: Allowing children to regain or earn back privileges.
• Understanding: Everyone has a bad day.
• Fairness: Kids can trust you to be fair in all things.
• School: Work with teachers remembering they are human; they do have favorites and they can lie.
My grades would likely hover around Bs and Cs due to my anger issues but I would be interested in learning how you think you would be graded by your children.