Life is Too Short CollectionAre you looking for a fabulous life boost today? The Life is Too Short series is just what you need. Written by Connie Sokol—mother of seven, author, speaker, and amazing matching sock finder—these humorous self-development columns give you just the right amount of fun and functional. Originally written for a major newspaper and magazines, you can now enjoy the entire collection in one book. Put your feet up and laugh as you relate to time-tested tips on being a woman, wife, and mother. You'll learn the cozy stuff of how to adjust expectations, have faith in your dreams, and lighten up in motherhood. And, you'll learn a few life skills such as easy spring cleaning, simplifying the holidays, and creating successful goals. It's the perfect gift for any woman! Short, funny, insightful, these quick power columns are ideal anytime, anywhere, to rejuvenate your mind and soul.
How Would Your Children Rate Your Parenting?
Recently, a thought occurred to me—how do our children feel we’re doing as parents? We're a fairly normal family with typical issues and stresses. We love each other (generally), get along (mostly), and don't physically harm one another (unless it’s wrestling). Usually I’m a happy mother except maybe first thing in the morning. Or late afternoon without a snack. And possibly right before bedtime. But our policy is, when the children graduate they'll get $3,000 for therapy and we’ll call it good.
However, to be sure we addressed vital parental elements now, I typed a brief survey of things I wanted to know about how our children perceived our parenting. Things like, do they feel loved by what we say or do, do we spend enough time with them, trust them to do difficult things, or make it easy to tell us when they’ve done wrong? After finishing the survey I wisely involved my husband so there would be both a Mom and Dad questionnaire, to see who the kids really liked best.
I was stunned with the results.
On a scale of 1 to 5 (one being the lowest), from six children, we received a total of nine 3s and 2s. What? After the time and energy we put into our children, subconsciously I had hoped to see a higher Olympic score. But thankfully, the specific information they shared was helpful, and surprising. Like, the children I thought would say we didn’t spend enough time with them had zero problem with that. And the one we had pegged as a golden child actually shared an unexpected problem, which led to a fabulously connected discussion, which averted future potential trauma.
To encourage the most honest responses I designed the survey to be done anonymously. So naturally afterward my husband and I pored over the way numbers were circled or crossed out to decipher who felt what. I’m happy to report we were 100% accurate in identifying each child. Although we stink at some parenting concepts—like allowing them to do grown up things—we apparently excel at handwriting analysis.
To begin correcting some of our parenting faux pas, my husband and I both chose a child and privately spoke with them. My teenage son said to me that since I’d had a baby he had missed the two of us just talking, and suggested we take a drive at night and talked for 15 minutes. What an inspired plan. I was encouraged that he not only suggested it, but that he still wanted to connect. After one particularly late evening he asked me about the drive and I replied that I was too exhausted but could we chat in my room? He paused, thinking. “Well,” he said, “you’re tired, so we can wait until tomorrow.” The penny dropped. Yes, he was more interested in the opportunity to drive than to talk though the two-fer was a perk.
Ah, the brutal truths of parenting.
All in all, the survey has been helpful. And my parenting has improved, mainly because right after the survey it became so very bad. I realized it wasn’t that I had regressed, it was that I had become more aware. I’m happy to say that I’ve taken it one step at a time and improved one circled number in a few areas (most especially the one about having a late afternoon snack).
I Love to Read & Review Books:
For some laughter therapy read this book! I LOVED the funny stories in each chapter followed by a LIFE TIP to help you put into practice the things you just learned...and as an added bonus...there is a BOOK PICK to further your enlightenment on the subject.