After constantly butting heads with Princess P, I started thinking that perhaps I was the cause of the never ending conflict. As a result, I had her fill out a comment card of sorts. The questions were asked in a low pressure setting over dinner. She was not coached in any way, and the answers were somewhat surprising. Below are the questions and responses.

Q: What can we do to make your stay here more enjoyable?
A: Play in the basement more with me and my toys.

Q: Do you like Mommy and Daddy?
A: I love you guys because you're nice.

Q: What do you think of Special K (our other daughter, not the cereal)?
A: I like her.

Q: Is there anything Special K does that makes you mad?
A: She scratches me.

Q: Is there anything I do that you don't like?
A: Give me spankings.

Q: Is there anything Mommy does that you don't like?
A: Nope.

Q: What do I do that you enjoy the most?
A: Giving hugs.

Q: Do you enjoy the activities you're involved with?
A: Yea, I like playing with my friends.

Q: Is there one thing that you could do better?
A: Listen more.

To be honest, the way things have been going, I really expected her to let me have it. She claims every night that she doesn't want to go to school the next morning. Then when she gets to school, she has been a bit clingy and hasn't wanted to participate in all the activities. So to get so many positive answers was a bit of a shock. Here are my key takeaways:

  • There is a definite gender bias in our household. The girls already gang up on me, and Mommy apparently can do no wrong.
  • The spankings are indeed memorable (when used infrequently) and uncomfortable.
  • Deep down I know Princess P loves her sister, but gets irritated frequently at her actions.
  • I should give more hugs.
  • Princess P still isn't very comfortable playing alone.
  • She knows she doesn't listen very well.

It was good to get some feedback from Princess P. It made me realize that if I would stop and look around, things aren't so bad.

Do you ask your kids for feedback on how you're doing?


photo courtesy of ricaird

Comments

our daughter could probably use a comment card. Since she can't read or write just yet. It'll have to be a sit down interview.

Our 14 year old son has let us know what's up. He's at that age where no one understands. A big issue was the time (or lack thereof) we've been able to spend with him since the kids have been born. There's a ten year difference between him and the next one.

Earlier this year he actually said that he didn't like them. There's three (almost four) on our side. And his dad and step mom have three on their side. So he's the oldest of eight kids all together.

He has a girlfriend now, which we don't approve but we give him some leverage. We ask him every night if he wants to hang with us, but he'd rather use that time to talk to his chick.

Thanks for sharing. I dread the teenage years that loom in my future. Good luck with your son, and just remember girls are the devil. I hope his current attitude is just a phase, and that someday he'll realize that you do understand.

I was talking to a friend about this gender bias...He has 3 girls and says that they become much more difficult to parent when Mom is out of the house...I have 1 little girl who can't crawl yet, but I gearing up for the years when the girls will rule the house...(oh who am I kidding they rule it now!)

Creative post. Thanks.

We don't have that problem yet (I'm sure it's coming). I think our 4-year-old is equally as difficult for both of us... she just likes her mom more at this point. And yeah, I try not to kid myself, the girls rule the roost around here... but they're just so darn cute :)

Given my propensity for starting blogs, I fully expect my son to forgo filling out comment cards and set up his own wordpress blog to inform me of what he likes and does not like about my parenting skills.

Nice, I bet that could turn into a interesting, smash hit of a blog.

What a great idea! I have not gone into such detail with the Q&A format, occasionally asking one or two questions on the spot, but I think I will use this tool in the future when my kids get a little older. -Jason

Thanks for stopping by. Kids do really have amazing minds, maybe I should listen to what's going on in there once and a while.

Great post! My daughter is only 3, and I ask for feedback from her all the time. It's a great way to talk out her feelings with her and explain why certain things are the way they are. I think that LISTENING is one of the #1 skills an emotionally successful father has in his arsenal. Unfortunately, far too few dads take time to really listen to their kids and ask for feedback from them (in my opinion). [Glad to see you are an exception!] Then those same parents wonder why their kids don't want to communicate with them when they get older. Thanks for sharing this discussion you had over the dinner table. I look forward to more of your stories.

Thanks for the kind words! I wouldn't say I'm the exception yet. I often catch myself slipping in to fix-it mode where I just want the issue solved. However, I think I used to be a good listener, and somewhere along the line I've gotten lazy. This post was a way to kick my self back into gear.

Thanks for stopping by!

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