Wednesday, April 15, 2009

15) An Examination of Conscience for Parents

"The unreflected life is not worth living" Socrates.

One of the preferred ways of setting off on a change-journey, is to begin with an examination of conscience. We want to change; become better parents by improving on the quality of parenting. What better way to start, than to find out where we stand today? (Please do not rush through this exercise. Read. Reflect. Respond.) A short
prayer before the exercise will do immense good. We need God's help to take us through this arduous journey.

1) Can I honestly claim that my life is an example to my children?
2) In what areas do I see myself wanting?
3) In what areas do my children see me deficient?
4) If I were to make a list of lapses in this all-important area of parenting, what
would take the top three spots?

1) What are my priorities in life? It is these that will find a voice when I speak
with my children.
2) Am I rigid or flexible in the way I instruct my children? Do I adopt the same
style for all, not pausing to think that each is different, and therefore to be
instructed differently, while retaining the essentials?
3) Do I keep changing my instructions, based on circumstances that suit me? Put
differently, do my words reflect my double standards?
4) Do my children know that I live by a code and that I try to persuade them to
adopt a similar code (though not identical), in their lives?
5) Do I try to update my knowledge (for example, on social conduct, relationship
building skills and so on), so that my children benefit from parental inputs
which are constantly improving?

1) Do I flinch from disciplining my children, either because I believe that it is
harsh, not meant for children, or endorse the opinion that children will grow
out of their faults?
2) Do I blow hot and cold, disciplining more by mood, than the need of the child?
Because of this erratic behavior, are my children confused over what is
expected of them?
3) Am I partial in disciplining, sparing my 'pet' and being heavy-handed with the
4) Do I follow some guidelines (Post 13), in disciplining my children?
5) From time to time, do I review my methods - using the more effective ones and
discarding the others?
In no way is this list exhaustive; it was not meant to be. The questions in the exercise are not penetrating, but general, because they are only intended to initiate the change-process, which is, untangling the knotted wires and reconnecting with our children.

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