According to the Cambridge English dictionary an appraisal is defined as;
The act of examining someone or something in order to judge their qualities, success, or needs:
A meeting in which an employee discusses his or her progress, aims, and needs at work with his or her manager or employer:
Now let’s put a twist to this whole thing but before I do that let me give you a back story.
I was sat down one day and it happened to be that “anxious mum moment” where I’m thinking “OMG” I hope my parenting style is not going to affect them negatively in the future. Or “OMG” am I doing the right thing by them, am I supportive enough, am I understanding and the list of self doubt goes on and on AND on.
If you’re a parent *high five* I know you’ve been in that same exact situation.
This is where work appraisals came to mind. Think of all the appraisals or one to ones you’ve had at work. Have you thought for one moment why these are even necessary because most of the time they are just casual chats , kind of like a little update. It’s simple there is a business to be run and In order to make this the most successful and effective business the employees must be happy, their needs must be met, their voices must be heard…. it’s an opportunity for development and improvement for both managers and employees but also praise and acknowledgement of ones efforts.
Think of the Maslow hierarchy of needs ;
1. Self actualization
I know you’re thinking wth where is she going with this…just keep reading.
Then I thought how good would it be if I sat down with them every so often on a one-to-one basis to just talk… talk about their feelings or if there’s anything on their mind, talk about what they would like me to change or what I could have done different in their opinion, and for me to do the same, to explain to them why that type of behavior is wrong or to give extra praise for something they had recently done etc. Because in this case that business I mentioned above is the family unit, that business is the children, that business is our life that we share together and every bit of energy must nourish it and not damage it. The worst thing for me would be for my children to grow up burying their emotions because there was no opportunity for them to express it!
I’m a strong believer that parents sometimes make the biggest mistakes, sometimes parents don’t practice what they preach which is a massive psychological shock for a child, sometimes they do have an attitude of “I’m big , “you’re small” and this needs to be tackled !
I’ve decided to start doing this once a month and my intentions are to do it for as long as I can, because this journey of parenthood lasts forever ( of course I would change my approach based on their age) I can not wait to sit with my big boy and give him an opportunity to ask me whatever he wants, to tell me if I’ve hurt or upset him?, To give me feedback on how I’m doing as a parent – I mean I’m not gonna ask a four year old “how am I doing as a parent, haha but I’ll have my own ways of getting the answer to that question”.
I can’t wait to do the same for him, to ask him If anything has happened that he would like to share with me, or how he’s feeling, and to also praise and encourage him, highlight the best parts of who he is and Instill that sense of safety, sense of belonging, self esteem and psychological stability.
I also invite you to do the same, I invite you to invest in time, set a day, have a record book and organise it, draw some damn tables and charts, get your bullet points going (sound extreme but if we do this in the work place why not with our children, why not do it in the part of life that actually really matters) then after each one to one use that book for your own development as a parent, for your own understanding of your child’s emotions and this will give the child an opportunity to also do the same.
Let’s create a bond with our children that’s based on love, respect, commitment, communication and understanding. Once this is done we can happily say we’ve succeeded.
What do you think? Is this a bit much? Or like me do you agree that it could actually be beneficial for both parent and child in the long run? Let me know, I’d love to hear your opinion on this.