Measuring Success as a Parent

The great thing about business is you get these reports from your

accountant that tell you how well you are doing. You can even look at

the bank balance each day, or that month's running sales figures and

get instant feedback on how well you are going. Successful computer

game designers are well aware of this human need for feedback and

build it heavily into their products.

But parenting is different.

It would be so great if your child worked like a tamagotchi and had a

number on his wrist for how much love he needed at any given time.

But he doesn't.

So you need to sit down with your wife and have a chat about what you

are actually hoping to achieve being parents to your children. Some

parents would feel like failures if their kids dropped out of school.

Other's would feel they had failed if their kid got pregnant before

marriage. For others, it's all about the child continuing in the

parent's faith.

Get your priorities right. If you realise you actually don't have any,

and have just been drifting along, bumping into things and adjusting

course when people look at you funny, don't stress. You're not alone.

But start thinking about it.

Do I want my boy to learn to sit still... or do I want him to feel

free to be boisterous?

Do I want my kids to have high paying jobs... or do I want them to

feel free to do whatever they enjoy?

Do I want my kids to carry on the family business... or am I going to

train them to be empowered decision makers who can choose their own


Do I want to control my kids... or am I trying to teach them to

control themselves?

I don't have the right or wrong answers, and I don't judge people who

raise their kids differently to me.

But I know that sometimes when I feel like I might be failing by other

people's metrics, I look at what is important to me and realize my

children are excelling fantastically.