In January, we say to ourselves, “This is the year! I’m going to be on top of things and be organized.” But by June we not only wonder where the first half of 2007 went, we may once again find ourselves rummaging through the picked over remnants of graduation and Father’s Day cards, trying to find the perfect one that reflects our inner most sentiments – all in the 5 minutes we have to get it to the post office before our next appointment!

June can be a very busy month with final exams, weddings, dance recitals, graduation celebrations and organizing family vacations with the much anticipated arrival of summer later in the month.

Many of us take this time to contemplate how grateful we are to still have our fathers in our lives, while others have lost theirs, either due to passing or estrangement. Some of us live right around the corner from our dads, while others are half way across the world, but no matter the distance, great or small, on June 17th the phone lines, restaurants and backyards will be buzzing with celebrations as we honor one of the most important role models in our lives.

This month some of our kids will also be graduating from kindergarten, grade 8, high school or university, some achieving distinctions of honor, while others not quite making the grade.

Before the report cards come home, we have a chance, and could choose to see how our reactions are unconsciously perpetuating a cycle of “not good enough” generations.

We may have created or continued cycles of disempowering behaviors, such as bestowing privileges or taking them away or perhaps using money as a reward or our disapproval and disappointment serving as punishment.

Our children continually strive to gain our approval and be good enough in our eyes, and erroneously associate their level of self-worth with their performance in school.

Wouldn’t it be interesting to see how we might evaluate ourselves if our mark was based on a GPA scale that went from 4.0 representing an open heart, compassion, non-judgment, unconditional love, joy, peace and forgiveness to a 1.0 denoting the projection of anger, disappointment, control, disapproval, fear, blame, criticism and judgment?

I know it’s been many years since we parents have received a report card, however, with awareness and a new perspective, we can begin breaking this “not good enough” cycle.

Of course there are a myriad of questions that we could ask of ourselves to determine the basis of our marks, like: Do I wear my stress? Am I easily disappointed? Do I criticize and judge others? Am I reactionary? Do I yell at my kids? Am I a control freak? Do I consider myself open or closed? Am I happy?

How would we rate ourselves in the other portion usually included where, E is for excellent…S is for satisfactory…N is for needs improvement?

It can be a very humbling exercise to see how we would grade ourselves, and an even more insightful experience, if we have the courage to get the feedback from our partners and kids. I once learned that feedback in and of itself is neutral, neither positive nor negative…it is our interpretation of the feedback that labels it so.

It may sting can at first, that is if their answers are not what we thought they might be, or the grade is lower than we gave ourselves, however, to coin one of Oprah’s phrases, what I know for sure is that if you can open yourself up to this exercise and take responsibility, your GPA will not only improve on your next report card, but you will experience the added benefit of increased fun and happiness in your life, as you lighten up and laugh along with your kids when they catch and remind you that there you go again…doing those things you do!

Father’s Day is a wonderful time to celebrate the connections we have in our lives, within our families and with our children, and as many have shared their desire to create even closer connections, our own grades can serve as the reflection to help us do just that!

I hope you enjoy all of the celebrations that this month has to offer, including dad’s special day and the awareness of a new perspective on making the grade!

Author's Bio: 

Jo-Anne Cutler is committed to making a difference in the world as an awareness coach, author and speaker- giving a voice to millions of children who are in need. She discovered that, as a mother and role model, she had continued cycles of unhealthy behaviours that she was unknowingly teaching her own children. However, once she became aware of how her words and reactions impacted them and others in her life, she made a conscious choice to change. Awareness is the key to any change and Jo-Anne’s passion for helping children find their voice and for it to be heard ignited her vision - to empower and inspire you to be the parent, teacher and role model the children of this world need you to be. For more information please visit