Several times a year I would casually ask each of my children (one-on-one) the following questions and listen closely to their answers. Here’s my Dad 30 Second Check-Up:
1. On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the best, how am I doing as a dad? Listen.
2. What could I do more or better? Listen.
3. What would you like for me to do less? Listen.
It helped my state of mind to be the one generating the discussion and asking the questions. By being the conversation encourager I was ready for my kids to give me an answer. I would pick an emotionally good day for both my children and me so we could have the best conversation possible. I never asked them both at the same time since I wanted the answers given to be unaffected by the sibling.
The parameters of love and respect during the “exam” were set to ensure constructive communication.
This exchange gives the child a platform on which to be heard, an element of power. If you respond by listening and are able to accept rather than defend a point a view, this can be a really great way to better your parent-child relationship. I found this conversation gave me insight into my son or daughter’s developmental stage and if a parenting approach needed some tweaking.
I will warn you, if you try this at home…be ready for anything.
How do you think your kids would answer the three questions? We’d love to hear questions you have asked that would spur on a good parent-child conversation.
Let the wise listen and add to their learning.
By Kirk Weaver, author and founder of Family Time Training. FTT trains an average of 8,000+ family members each year. Kirk has written eight books containing Family Time object lessons. Contact Kirk at Family Time Training.