I ran across this video and it made me think about a conversation I had with my daughter. I had been facilitating some leadership training at work and I was explaining to the team, the importance of getting feedback from their team members. What can I do to be a better leader? They looked at me like, Are you crazy? They will come up with all kinds of stuff.
The reality of it is, you don’t really know how you’re doing if you don’t ask. When asking this question, you have to be humble and ready to receive the constructive feedback. Well after teaching this class for a few days, I came home and asked my daughter, “What can I do to be a better mom?” I thought, now of course I admire my mother and after all, she didn’t do a bad job raising us but how would things have been if we would have felt comfortable telling my parents what we needed from them? I can hear both of them saying something like “it really doesn’t matter, I’m the parent and you do what I say” LOL while it’s funny, it can actually open doors for parents to have a better understanding of a child’s individuality. My dad jokes all the time saying, “Since I was the oldest, I was the test child” because they didn’t know anything about parenting, except for how they were raised Back In The Day!
But yes, times have changed and our kids are different. With that I’ve always been interested in knowing what my child was thinking, with hopes that I would understand her and also to help her process her thoughts and understand why I made some of the decisions I did as a parent. I must say it helped with her logical thinking and she is a very conscious decision maker.
At first she said, “Oh, nothing you’re doing the best you can”, until I reassured her that I wanted her to think about this and come back with 1-2 things I could improve on. When she came back with her list, I thought about ways I could actually accommodate her and improve in those areas.
So I challenge you to create an atmosphere for your kids to provide you with some constructive criticism. This is not only a lesson for you but you are also teaching them a life lesson on how to gracefully receive and give constructive criticism.
Here’s some tips to remember:
- Don’t get upset and please don’t take it personally. Grant it, they may come up with some crazy request at first just to see where this is going. If you’ve had a bad day, please reschedule this conversation.
- Make sure you have a clear understanding before exiting the conversation. It’s difficult to receive constructive criticism but it’s just as hard to give it. This doesn’t mean you have done anything wrong. Remember the question is, How can you be a BETTER mom?
- Now schedule time to discuss it again. Hopefully, this will also open doors for honest communication.
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