What you measure, matters.
I truly believe that.
Preface to this post: I’m a data geek. I have an accounting degree. I love data!
My quest was to solve, with data, how I am doing as a parent. Simple, right?
Below are the list of requirements for the scorecard.
- Open ended
- Some sort of rating systems
After a few rounds of testing with my kids, and feedback from colleagues, I landed on this, the Parenting Scorecard.
I’m going to walk you through it.
GOAL OF SCORECARD
Goal of the scorecard: To provide a consistent feedback loop between child and parent.
How to use the scorecard:
- Ask these same questions on a weekly, or bi-weekly basis.
- Create a safe environment. Pick a neutral location. A coffee shop, ice cream shop, a park.
- Let your child know that nothing they say will be used against them. You are using this to help you be a better parent.
- Don’t be defensive at any answers from your child.
- Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
- Ask follow up questions. “Oh, what do you mean by that?”
I also recommend using Swipe It App to break the ice with your kids. Swipe It is an app I created to make family time fun again. It’s full of fun icebreakers.
Question 1 = Your rating
We start out with our rating. At first this question was ‘on a scale of 1 to 5’. That didn’t test well so I switched that to emojis, mucho better.
I still count each emoji as a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 (from left to right).
Question 2 – What is one thing you are grateful for that I do?
We want to start with some positive feedback. This question gives your children time to think about something you are doing well.
We all know we you give feedback it’s good to start out with something positive then get into the ‘needs improvement’ part.
Question 3 – What is one thing I could do better?
This is the ‘need improvement’ question. The first time I asked my son (age 8) this question he thought about it for a while then said ‘well, I wish that you would play Bloons (an app) when we’re not here so you wouldn’t be so distracted and could talk with us’. Ouch, and double ouch. But, it was what I needed to hear, loud and clear.
Question 4 – What’s something important to you that I may not know about? A relationship? Something that hurts?
The goal of this question is to look in my blind spots. Something I may not notice that the kid does. Is it school, someone in the neighborhood, are they feeling left out of something. This is the most confusing question with my kids so far. You may need to tweak it a bit so they understand it.
Question 5 – What would make this week amazing for you and I?
Surprisingly this hasn’t resulted in ‘buy me legos’ or ‘buy me a new video game’. What I have gotten is requests for 1-on-1 time with me. I’m a big fan of doing ‘man-dates’ with the kids. 1-on-1 times with the kids. They crave these, they need these.
These are meant to give you a little more ammunition during the conversation. If you kiddo is stumbling through any of the questions above feel free to grab one of these questions to break the ice a little more. You can also use the Swipe It App to break the ice as well.
MEASURE YOUR PARENTING
That’s it. That’s the parenting scorecard. Print it out, carry it around, look for opportunities to use it with your kids.
I’d LOVE any feedback you get with the scorecard. Please send them my way OR post in the Parneting Academy Facebook Group.