A self-assessment does not mean that our methods are not working or that as parents, we are broken. It is simply a great exercise to perform on a regular basis in order to ensure that our methods remain sharp, and our feet stay on the correct path.

We each decided long ago to be good parents to our children. We decided we would do what was right for them in order to mold them into children who behave appropriately, and then become adults who can make good decisions for themselves. None of us knew from the first child what an emotional toll even disciplining our children could be.

We never knew that the saying, “This is going to hurt me worse than you” was entirely true. This saying doesn’t have to apply to spankings, but even taking away a toy, or taking away cartoons for a little while can hurt our feelings – seeing their feelings hurt. But it usually does hurt us worse than them. By a lot.Father Saying Goodbye To Children As They Leave For School

Taking a fresh look at our approach towards discipline, education, behavioral issues, talking, and basic day-to-day actions can sometimes be very revealing. Writing down things we do, our schedule, and what happened during the day can help us to find the weaknesses in our approach. It can help us to identify the strengths, as well.

Understanding that sometimes our approach strays from the intended path every once in a while is not a bad thing. It provides us a continued way to learn from our mistakes. Is reveals to us where and how we may have fallen off track. It may also show us where and when we shine the most as parents.

A self-assessment is not meant to expose our shortcomings, but to teach us where we can, and should, make changes in how we approach parenting. It is meant to strengthen our resolve, and to demonstrate how we can take our strengths, and spread it to the areas that we need it most.

Trisha Festerling, J.D.

Family Law Attorney

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