Monday, March 30, 2009

360 degree evaluations

So how do your kids rate your parenting? Is it much different than how you would rate yourself? According to a study reported in Ellen Galinsky’s Ask the Children: What America's Children Really Think About Working Parents, apparently there is a quite a bit of correlation (even when pooling parents and kids together rather than matching them).

Bryan Caplan provides a neat discussion. Apparently, on the question of whether parent’s control their tempers, both parents and kids give themselves the lowest marks but the kids also rate the parents more poorly.

I'm tempted to say that this shows that parents and kids would be better off if parents focused more on themselves.  Parents would feel better about their lives if they gave themselves a break; kids would indirectly benefit because their parents would express less anger toward them.  "See a movie on your way home from work - and smile at your kids when you get home," would be my slogan.  But the fact that parents agree that they have an anger problem makes me wonder.

I’d rate myself low on that question too. In fact, I am not known for getting angry and shouting but my kids know that I can.