So how are you doing in your difficult parenting job? Score your parenting skills on a test designed for parents of children ages 11-15. This is intended for parents of ‘normal’ children, so you may skip 5, 6, and 7. (If you are brave, have someone else score you too and compare results.)
Parenting Skills Test – printable form
Don’t be hard on yourself if you score low. Only a “perfect” parent will have an excellent score… and they wouldn’t need to read this blog!
What did you learn? What are the skills where you scored lowest? Focus on them. Troubled kids need to be parented differently. What you’ve learned by watching skilled parents may not apply to you. You might be thinking: “I agree these are good parenting skills, but practicing them is impossible with my child. They hate/defy/scream/fill-in-the-blank constantly.” Suggestion: Work on one skill at a time, and take the test again in few weeks to see if you’ve improved your score.
Be and kind forgiving of yourself if you score low
When my child was young and I was stressed, I would have had a low score and fallen in the “Keep trying” group. My child’s mental health so poor, and she was so at-risk, I could only focus on safety and live one day at a time.
Why 3 of the items don’t apply for parents with mentally ill children, IMHO
#5 “I let natural consequences do the teaching whenever feasible.” In my case, natural consequences could always be serious and unsafe. This would have been very unwise.
#6 “I am confident my child has everything she/he needs to make good decisions.” No way. They cannot make good decisions when they are irrational–that’s the problem.
#7 “I allow my child to do his/her chores without reminding.” I gave up on chores. It was one battle I didn’t have to fight. It was much easier doing them myself and knowing they’d be done.
Please add a comment if you have found other skills to be effective,