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Critical self-assessment questions that parents must ask themselves

Team StoryWeavers|June 21, 2022, 17:16 IST|

 Critical self-assessment questions that parents must ask themselves

“If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.”

― Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

We all know how important it is to ask the right questions. Parents influence their children the most, and that is why they need to evaluate themselves now and then. As our work and personal lives get more and more entangled, we all, especially parents of young children, need to ask ourselves critical questions that give us insight into our areas of development so that we can strive to be even better parents tomorrow than we are today. 

That is why, today, we will cover questions that parents must ask themselves. 

Four kinds of critical questions for parents to answer

Ed Wimberly’s book, Parenting with an Attitude: Twenty-One Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves, published in 2020, lists many questions under four categories that parents need to ask themselves. They are as follows:

  • What is the message that you heard as a child? How does it affect you today – are you living up to it or down to it? For example: You are a caring child, you are an irresponsible child, etc. What is the most common message your child hears from you? What are some ways that message can influence your child in the future? 
  • How does your parents’ respect or disrespect towards you affect you? Do you treat your child with respect? In what ways do you show respect to your child? What signs show you that you are successful in teaching your child to respect everyone?
  • Did your parents resort to using guilt to get you to do something they wanted you to do? How did it affect your relationship with your parents? Do you find yourself guilt-tripping your child? How does it make you and your child feel? What are some negative effects of using guilt to motivate others to do something? What are some ways you can get your child to do something without using guilt? 
  • What are some parenting mistakes that you think your parents made with you? How do they affect your relationship with your parents? Have you found yourself making the same mistakes with your child? Have you let go of the mistakes your parents made with you? If not, have you thought about what it would take for you to forgive your parents and move on? 

Some parents will find it easy to answer these questions, and some might find it extremely difficult to answer them. Take one question at a time and ponder upon it, write your thoughts and feelings in order to understand them better. It will help you clear your head as well. Many times, critical questions like these bring back painful memories. Do rely on your family and friends to help you through this process. 

Did you find this article helpful? Do you think these questions will help you strengthen your relationship with your child? Do let us know in the comments below. 


Wimberly, E. (2020). Parenting with an Attitude…: Twenty-One Questions Successful Parents Ask Themselves. United Kingdom: Christian Faith Publishing, Incorporated.

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About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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