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A Sanity Circle


kids-playing-cardsJust a couple of months before our daughters started kindergarten, Kim and I were sipping tea while the children painted with watercolors in the kitchen. Suddenly they appeared, their hands covered with colored soap suds. “The paint spilled and it got foamy,” they declared.

We decided to assume they hadn’t intentionally painted the floor, but as we guided them in cleaning up the bubbles and paint, Kim said, “If we don’t plan for get-togethers, we’ll never see each other once the girls are scheduled into school.” So we invited a couple of other mothers and quickly became a little parenting support group. That was over 15 years ago—and it’s been a lifesaver, having other moms with which to discuss, “Has your child ever…what did you do…how can I…HELP!!!”

Back when families were big, parents expected their kids to be different. And, if they weren’t sure what to do with “that one,” a relative or a neighbor probably had some tips. Now way too many parents are isolated. “Am I doing something wrong?” is a question that they may not know who to ask!

Whether it’s a sister-in-law, a few couples from church, a few parents with children of similar age in the neighborhood, or another group, make sure you have this kind of open, honest network—true friends who will tell you, “Um, a child at our house did the same thing. I’m not sharing details, but it involved a broken couch.” It just may keep you sane in this hardest of all occupations!

Jane Kise, Ed.D. – Educational Advisor and Consultant, 
Jane  writes an insightful post every Tuesday for Kidtelligent. Jane is an educational consultant, specializing in teambuilding, coaching, and school staff development. She is also the coauthor of more than 20 books. Jane’s website  is