Let Your Kids Evaluate You

I get an email almost every day from All Pro Dad, which contains links to stories, tips, and questions for evaluation.  In just a few seconds, I can scan the email and determine whether that day's topic applies to me and if I need to take an action step.  About half the time it does apply, and the rest of the time I just delete the email.  Most of the action items involve a simple question to ask my children or wife.  This has been a simple and easy tool that has helped me lead and engage my family.

Not too long ago, the email was for a Kids Quiz, which consists of 12 questions that my children needed to answer, as a way to evaluate how I am doing as a father. It was a multiple choice format, with questions like, "Does your dad spend time with you?", "Do you all eat together as a family?", and "Does your dad know your friends?" 

I gave a copy to Hannah and Elijah (separately), and I asked them to take the quiz.  I stressed for them to be honest, and I think they were.  I explained to them that this was a great way for me to learn and grow, and to show my kids that they can actually help me become a better man.  Also, it was a great way to model humility for my kids (they need to see me want to grow).

Their responses were a combination of challenging and encouraging; most were very positive.  Here's a sampling of some of their answers that may indicate some areas I need to take to heart:
  • Elijah said that he wants me to spend more time with him.
  • Both said that I know only a little bit about their friends.
  • Elijah said that he's not sure how much time we'd spend together when he moves out of the house.  That concerned me at first, but upon talking to him more, I figured that he meant it from his perspective, not mine.  He knew that when he is an adult his primary focus will not be me, but his own family.

Dads, I encourage you to try this quiz for yourself, and also to sign up for the daily email, called the Play of the Day.  (Moms, there is a companion site called iMOM.)

And if you want to go deeper on this particular topic, here are 10 Sacrifices a Good Father Makes for His Child 

Anyone else going to let their kids evaluate you? 

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