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Saturday, June 11, 2011

Are You An Open-For-Feedback Parent?

So today we had a great time celebrating Sarah's birthday with 11 of her friends. Great time. Great girls. Great memories.

Tonight as Kelly and I were looking back on the day, we couldn't help but talk about how unique and different each of Sarah's friends were. Extroverts and introverts. Funny and serious. Critical thinkers and expressive thinkers. Tomboys and girly girls. So fascinating to watch them all laugh, play and interact with each other.

As we were talking about each girl, Kelly says to me, "What do you think people say about our kids?" To which I said, "I have no idea, but I would love some real, honest feedback on what others see when we aren't around."

I think this would be so helpful to have these insights from others who maybe see things we don't about our kids weaknesses and/or strengths. Why you may ask. Because we don't have it all figured out. We need help like everyone else.

I would also love to give some honest parenting feedback to some friends, family and strangers, but most of us get too defensive. "How dare you talk about my kids that way." "Who are you talk talk bad about my kid or my parenting?" "You have no idea what you are talking about...I work hard at being the best parent I can be!" Those are just a few of the things we might say in defense.

One thing I try and do is ask as honestly and transparently as I can when I pick my kids up from somewhere being with someone is how were they? Did they behave, play nicely, use manors, treat others with respect? In other words...I'd love some feedback if you have any that you think might help me parent/raise/mold/shape my kid.

So let me ask...why is it so hard to receive good, honest, and, yes, sometimes hard feedback about our kids? What keeps us from being open to parenting feedback? What keeps us from developing the kind of community or friendships where we can give this kind of feedback? I know I want to and need to keep growing in this area.

I really believe we can and would become better parents raising healthier kids if we made ourselves available to becoming open-for-feedback parents.

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