That is the phrase I sometimes found myself using when people asked me about my kids, especially when they were teenagers, and it is what I hope I am doing now! Two months of home renovations consumed my summer and some tasks remain, painting, wallpaper still to go up. But the project is mostly done.

So many times I think of sharing on this blog some bit of information, or an experience that challenged or delighted me, but then the day gets away from me!

My job stocking shelves at the Michael’s Arts and Crafts Store gives me an occasional chance to interact with parents, sometimes customers and sometimes coworkers. I love to hear people tell me their stories. It is a gift to be able to offer encouragement, maybe ask a question that helps them move to a more compassionate place. Perspective, maybe that’s what we need most as parents.

Trying to take, myself, the medicine I would offer others, I will take a deep breath, right now, and try to take the long view. All I can do is what I can do. Tomorrow I will co-present a workshop, to a dozen or so teachers, on the topic ‘Parent and Family Engagement’. I hope I can get across to the teachers, some of whom are probably also parents, how they can help parents gain perspective.  How to do that? By forming a relationship with the parents. Simple to say, difficult to do.

A book recommended on the National Parenting Education Network discussion list, Hold On to Your Kids, by Neufeld and Maté, had this wonderful quotation, from J. Krishnamurti:

“Action has meaning only in relationship and without understanding relationship, action on any level will only breed conflict. The understanding of relationship is infinitely more important than the search for any plan of action.”