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Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Every class I ever took in college required me to write an evaluation of the professor and the class at the end of the semester. I was assured that the professor read each and every evaluation and took into consideration what his students had to say. I'm not sure if that is true or not. What I do know is that if those professors were telling us the truth about the importance of our role in their teaching, then they were good professors.

As a parent, it isn't really possible to ask your children to provide you with an evaluation of your job. They are not likely to know much about what you are doing right and what you aren't. However, as a parent, you should take a moment to evaluate yourself.

Honestly evaluating yourself as a parent can be somewhat difficult. We don't like to acknowledge the things we've done that were horribly wrong. Unfortunately, if you wish to improve your parenting skills, you have to take the good, the bad and the ugly into consideration.

If there are certain techniques that work for you and your family, make a note of that. (Be sure to rinse and repeat as often as necessary.) Successful techniques increase your abilities to parent.

Those techniques that failed miserably or left you wondering if your children would ever escape childhood without needing extensive therapy - yeah - chuck those and vow to never use them again. (Yes, we all have had those parenting moments when we foresee the future therapy sessions of our children where we will ultimately be blamed for all the wrongs and evils in their lives.)

Take stock of what you do each day and how you feel about those actions. If you find yourself in the midst of a parenting mistake and realize it quickly enough, allow yourself to take it back. Never be afraid to tell your child that you were wrong or that you reacted to quickly without fully considering the situation. Your child needs to see you accept your failures in order for her to be able to accept her own failures gracefully.

Most importantly - Keep a sense of humor. Nothing goes smoothly all the time.