How do you measure parental success? Do you use a scale? Or perhaps a ruler or yardstick? Or maybe it's figured with a complicated mathematical equation? Or is there a panel discussion involved and averaging of the scores? Is it by hours spent playing or sitting at ball games or volunteering at school or reading books? How do you measure such a thing?
A friend had posted on Facebook asking fellow parents how they measure success. I didn't respond. I didn't read the comments, but I thought about this question.
I realized that I don't measure. And I don't think this is something that can be measured…at least not until my children have grown into adults….and maybe not until they have had children and careers and lived their lives all the way through. And I don't think it's for me to measure.
My children will likely do some measuring of my parental skills as they grow from elementary school to middle school to high school to college and on and on. I'm sure they will have lots of data to put a measuring stick to and determine my success or failure as a parent…and I'm sure they will be happy to fill me in on their observations and conclusions too.
Others, my husband/their father, strangers, family members, friends, teachers, etc. have more than likely already calculated my parental success to failure ratio and will continue to over the years.
I have some days that I am a first-rate parent. And then there are other days that I most certainly deserve an F. Most days are mediocre, averaging somewhere in the C+ to C- range, I suppose. There are some days that my kids do or say things that make me swell with pride in how they are turning out. Of course, there are other days I feel sure I have utterly failed in teaching even the most basic skills in life.
I am certain that one cannot measure one's success in parenting based on one day or one hour or one week or even 1 year or 8 years, for that matter. One will not have enough data to figure an accurate score, if one is looking at only a particular window in time.
No, I am sure that this type of measurement can't be taken…not if you want a true report.
Instead, I think what I, as a parent, must concentrate on is teaching by example to be loving, kind, just, generous, faithful, fun, determined, passionate, strong, steadfast and happy. And then, time will tell what kind of job I have done as a parent.
I do know this though...I try my darndest to be the glitter and the glue for my family. The glue holds everything together and the glitter adds sparkle and magic to the world around us, even when things are bleak or plain or ugly. Everything is always better with glitter and glue. Over and out…