Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Rethinking the Outcome

A question I ask a lot of students I supervise is "What are you conceptualising as your dependent variable?" This is just jargon for, "What outcome are you interested in?"

I have been overwhelmed by the response to this blog. The comments on facebook, and the many personal messages have given me confidence that this is the sort of thing that folks want to read. That's very gratifying, and it really helps me to feel accountable -- sort of monitored in what I'm trying to do.

But what exactly am I trying to do? A few of the comments were reassuring that parenting only has to be good enough, perfection is not required. I TOTALLY agree with that. My boys live in an advantaged home in England, with plenty of folks around that love them. They aren't being abused. Beyond this, how they are parented won't make a difference to how they turn out. I absolutely believe this to be true. 

So I was wrong when I said in an earlier post that I wanted to improve my pareting, and in turn, my relationship with my boys, and in turn their behaviour. That's not what this is about. My outcome of interest is my relationship with the boys, not their behaviour. Obviously those are hard to separate, but I want the focus to be on enjoying my time with the boys more than I (often) do at the moment.

I still think that the research on the determinants of parenting is a good guide for what I should focus on. I can only change my behaviour, not the boys'. Although I am fond of pointing out that time has never moved more slowly for me than these early parenting years, I do know that when they draw to a close I will regret not trying to eek out maximum enjoyment from them. 

So you see, it's all about me.

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