I'm Pam, and I'm glad you're here. I hope my thoughts on family, faith, and the flux of life help you laugh, fire you up or just make you think.

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the joy of good enough

Cover of "The Blessing Of A Skinned Knee:...
Cover via Amazon

 I’m not sure what this says about me, but sometimes I am thunderstruck by a twist on the same old typical advice.  Listening to a book on CD today, I almost had to pull over the car, overwhelmed by recognition, relief and mixed-up conviction by this: 

“I meet many parents who are trying so hard to be perfect parents, to make everything just right for their children, that they are draining away their pleasure in parenting.  They’re too exhausted and too unconsciously resentful to enjoy the amazing show of childhood. . .

. . . My advice to all of these parents is to tolerate some low-quality time.  Have a little less ambition for yourself and your children.  Plan nothing.  Disappoint your kids with your essential mediocrity and the dullness of your home.  Just hang around your children and wait to see what develops.  Strive to be a good enough parent, not a great one.  It can make everyone in the family relax, and paradoxically, make life richer.”

--from The Blessing of a Skinned Knee:  Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel, Ph.D.

I print this not to be pessimistic, but with the hope of accepting and celebrating ourselves and our children right where we are. 

May we all remember to celebrate the joy of being good enough


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6 comments to the joy of good enough

  • pam

    To clarify a little: I see many parents in my workshops and tutoring who are working SO hard to “enrich” their children’s lives that they miss out on the richness of ordinary life. And I, too, sometimes put pressure on my kids and self to excel, planning for the future, that I forget to enjoy the beauty of here & now. So I don’t mean to be apathetic or give up, but appreciate the extraordinary ordinary more. Your thoughts?

  • I so agree with what is being said. We live in an area with quite a bit of wealth, yet we are not and I find myself amazed at the money and time parents put into their kids “extra activities” to the extent that they don’t spend any real time with them except to drive them here and there. There is a lot to be said for not being overly scheduled and letting life “happen”. Some of the best memories come out of these times. thanks for sharing!

  • Caroline

    Another thought on this…sometimes when we lavish so much upon our kids, by way of enriching opportunites and activities, they can actually become unappreciative or lackadaisical towards the very things we desire to bless them with. In being given so much, our kids actually miss out on the experience of lacking, dreaming, hungering for, and then taking action themselves to obtain and achieve the very things we, as parents, want to enrich them with. They can take all that they have been given for granted, not truly own the things they do and the talents they may have, and in the end, wind up not really caring much about anything at all. In not striving to be that “perfect” parent, who offers the world on a silver platter to our kids, we may actually give our kids the gift of being able to seek out the world, and all that it offers, for themselves.

  • pam

    Caroline and Alisa,
    You captured exactly what I was trying to say, but more eloquently. Thank you. May you both have a wonderful, imperfect, ordinary time with your families tonight.

  • The best times I’ve had with our son has been at the dinner table. We love carrying on lively conversations. I’m so grateful for these times especially now that he’s a senior this year and will be going into the military when he graduates.

  • Caroline

    I would be looking forward to it, if it weren’t for the fact that two boys are at football practices, and two girls are at cheer practice!! I need to practice what I preach more…although these activities are definately kid-led (what mom would ever wish football upon her son!)

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