How to Assess Parenting Skills

Written by neal litherland
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How to Assess Parenting Skills
Evaluating a person's parenting skills can take a great deal of time. (parenting image by Natalia Bratslavsky from

A person who is familiar with family dynamics, child rearing and the signs of problems or dysfunction within a family should assess parenting skills. Assessing another person's ability to parent should take place over time, through lots of observations and data gathering rather than off of a single event or occasion. The evaluation process may take time, but it's also important not to jump to conclusions by a single example of a person's skills.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Interview the parent and the children. It's important that the interviewer get a sense of the parent and the children as individuals so that he can see any signs of potential bad parenting. If possible, interview the parents and the children separately. Get them to talk about life, difficulties, etc.

  2. 2

    Watch the parent and child together. These visits should be random so that there isn't any preparation. What you want to do is to get a sense of how the parent really treats her child and how that child responds to the parent's style. Make notes on what you see while observing, but don't interrupt unless there is real harm taking place.

  3. 3

    Compare your observations over time to how a parent should perform. Parenting skills split into categories such as discipline and education, and you should observe those categories and evaluate the parent's performance in each. Once the evaluation is complete, you will have a rough estimate of a parent's observed skills.

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