Why I Embrace “Good Enough” Parenting | Deborah Farmer Kris | 3 Min Read

Pretty soon, articles and social media posts will remind us that it’s time to “pick a word” for 2022 — a motivating mantra for the upcoming year. 

I already have my parenting word picked out. It’s the same word that I’ve held close for three years: Enough.

Three years ago, illness ran into our house and shredded my make-the-holidays-magical to-do list. No decorating sugar cookies or wrapping up homemade caramels in wax paper squares. No sending out cards or visiting light displays.

Our Christmas Eve dinner consisted of a pot of spaghetti that a friend lovingly left on the doorstep. Rather than gathering around the piano for caroling, my kids danced around the kitchen to the Chipmunk Christmas album. Another friend brought by a 1000-piece puzzle to keep the kids occupied while I place phone calls and caught up on laundry. It wasn’t what I imagined. But it was magically, mercifully good enough.

A few weeks later, I ran a workshop for high school juniors about time management — a tough topic when the unspoken motto of junior year is Everything Counts for College. I encouraged them to adopt two phrases that I was striving to embrace myself: “better…

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Deborah Farmer Kris

A writer, teacher, parent, and child development expert, Deborah Farmer Kris writes regularly for PBS KIDS for Parents and NPR’s MindShift; her work has been featured several times in The Washington Post; and she is the author of the All the Time picture book series (coming out in 2022) focused on social-emotional growth. A popular speaker, Deborah has a B.A. in English, a B.S. in Education, and an M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology. Mostly, she loves finding and sharing nuggets of practical wisdom that can help kids and families thrive — including her own. You can follow her on Twitter @dfkris, contact her at [email protected], or visit her website: Parenthood365 (https://www.parenthood365.com/)