Parent Report Card

Oh, I really hope that they give me a good grade.

Hey kids, I have a fun activity.

Am I really voluntarily going to let my kids grade my parenting style?

You know how I’ve been going to this parenting class for the past few weeks.  Well…I have a parent report card for each of you to fill in and you get to grade me on how I am doing as a parent?

Ooh, do we get to grade your broccoli servings, ‘cos you’re not going to do well on that one.

What about bedtime?

Yeah, and all that chit-chatting that you do on the phone all day, when we need your help with homework.

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It has never struck me until that moment how judged one feels from getting graded.  College was clearly a while ago.  I felt great when they gave me an “A”.  Yes, perfect parent that I am…I did get an “F”.  An “F”, a big fat failure, OUCH!  It was for “Does my parent watch TV with me?”  Apparently not!  Alright, I don’t feel that bad.  Well, yeah, it still stung a little.

I found it interesting how easily I glossed over the many areas where my children gave me positive marks and really only wanted to concentrate on where I was doing terribly as a parent.

Do they feel like that every time they get a grade?  My 11 year old and my 8 year old get graded several times a week.  How do they cope with so much judgment?

I must admit the joy and naughtiness that they felt in being allowed to grade me was pretty exhilarating.  Clearly, flipping the focus, from their behavior to my behavior was an invigorating and empowering experience for Dash, Olivia and Tallulah.

My biggest learning curve from this experience was to beware of the judgment that goes with grading.  I got “C”s from both the older kids for “Is she or he understanding about poor grades?”.  My 6 year old cut me a break on that one, they don’t grade in her Kindergarten, thank goodness.

Apparently, I am good at keeping secrets.  (Little do they know this is just “Parental Alzheimer’s”).  Then there is the broccoli that I attempt to serve at least once or twice a week…”Cooking needs improvement”.  My best friend who serves pancakes every morning got an “A” for “Cooks good meals”.

It was question #4 that made my day however.

Question #4:  Tells me he or she loves me.  I got three “A”s.

All is well in the Land of Imagination.

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