Friday 4 April 2014


Monthly Private One-On-One Interview with Your Children

I often wonder where I can improve as a Mom. If I should have done something differently. Have I considered well enough the context? Have I put myself into J's shoes? Have I been overpowering?

It is not always that I am always right. There have been times, when after reflection, I regretted my actions.

We all need feedback and honest feedback in order to improve. We all also need to be humble enough to listen to feedback and to reflect over it.

Re-reading the book, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families," a section jumped up on me, and it was something just as I needed it. It did not speak to me the first time around when I read the book.

In the corporate world, we have yearly or bi-yearly performance appraisal. This concept can be adapted into the family too. According to Stephen R. Covery, this can be done with having private interviews with each of your children.

This does not mean that you are whimsy or insecure as a parent, that you need to consult your children on your performance. You are not. But it does mean listening and trying to see things from your child's perspective. No one is right all the time. It would help you to see your blindspots.

Private Interviews

The Concept:

It is "a practice of having "private interviews" with a parent once a month. This was a time when we could talk about anything we wanted, complain about home duties or unfairness shown, talk about our friends or anything that interested us, give ideas for activities, share problems or whatever" accordingly to Stephen R. Covey.

You do not have to jot down furiously as your child speak, as it may make it too formal or intimidating. Make a mental picture and quickly jot it down where you need to improve after the interview before you forget.

The Rule:

That Mom and Dad could only listen - not talk or criticize, or give advice or suggestions without being invited to.

This provides a safe environment for your child to protest or appeal or vent his frustration peacefully.


The book didn't specify the duration, but I would imagine 30-60 minutes would be sufficient. It depends also on the situation, so just go with the flow.

When to Introduce?

When your child is around 5 years old. That was also the time Stephen R. Covey started with his children.

Additional Information:
I thank God for learning this tool just at the time that I needed it and for helping us to create a platform in giving J a voice to say things in a safe environment.

I highly recommend The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families book:

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