Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Parent Performance Assessment

Just like at many workplaces, our company requires all employees to complete an annual performance assessment with our supervisors.   It's a chance to review what's been accomplished, get feedback on things done well and things that could be done better.  It's also a great opportunity to discuss skills that need development and consider future career path directions.

Having just finished my mid-year review, I got to thinking about my job as a mom and wondering how I would be evaluated by my peers (other parents, child care givers), direct reports (children) and line managers (parents). 

Now, I certainly don't want to hear constant critique or unsolicited advice.  But I would welcome some ideas on how to better handle the sibling squabbles, the not-listening, the power struggles and the sassy talking back. 

And to be honest, just some kind of reassurance that others think I'm doing a decent job could really make me feel better, especially on those crazy, tough, kids-were-awake-at-five-thirty, never-stop-fighting, aren't-listening-to-me, toys-are-all-over-the-house days. 

Everyone benefits from positive recognition.  It's a known motivator.  A good workplace usually has some form of an employee recognition for this very reason.  So, aside from the mom-connections through parent groups, the twittersphere and the blog-world, a regular 'parent performance assessment' would be extremely beneficial for giving this kind of encouragement and support.

(It's very likely that future career path discussions won't become part of the 'parent performance assessment'... I'm pretty sure it's a job for life.)

Obviously, feedback from other parents, caregivers and our own family is the most probable form of meaningful commentary we could hope for.  Because, let's face it, aside from the spontaneous "I love you"'s, snugly hugs and creative artwork, valuable feedback from children isn't likely to come until it's too late.  How many of us only started to really appreciate all that our parents did for us once we became parents ourselves? 

Since I probably didn't give my parents enough positive praise while I was growing up, I try to acknowledge the sacrifices they made and the challenges they faced, at least whenever similar situations arise for me.  However, having raised 3 children themselves, when I ask my parents if they had the same problems, or how they handled it, they often "I can't remember." 

I guess it really will go by in a blur.  Someone recently told me that although raising young children is all encompassing right now, it really is only a drop in the bucket in the long run. 

And so, we do our best, strive to do better, and hope that it is enough.

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