Trainer Tip: When we love a child there's a contribution we can provide in helping them go their own way successfully, in big ways and small. Trainer Tip There is nothing more thrilling in this world, I think, than having a child that is yours, and yet is mysteriously a stranger. —Agatha Christie Parenthood is a paradox. If you do your job well, your children leave you. I met an English woman once who told me that for the first twenty-four hours of her son’s life, he was her child. She savored that first day with him intensely, knowing he was all hers. The morning of the second day, she began the process of helping him leave her successfully. Parenting can be painful. We want our children to love us, and we know that ultimately we will have to let them go their own way. We want the very best for them; we want them to be happy, healthy, safe, and full of love. Yet, as we nurture them, we also teach them how to live on their own, how to be independent, and how to leave us well. Remember the ultimate need you are trying to meet when raising your children—contributing to their ability to live independently. Today, focus on the paradoxical needs you try to meet through parenting, such as contributing to your children’s ability to live independently. This trainer tip is an excerpt from Mary Mackenzie's book Peaceful Living, available from PuddleDancer Press.