My wife, Loma, and I attended the annual fundraiser for PEPS (Program for Early Parent Support) Tuesday, March 6 at Fischer Pavilion.  The audience trended heavily to the younger consumers who get great value from PEPS ( when they first become parents. They provide thousands of volunteer hours to sustain a growing range of programs and establish lifelong frienships with the people they meet in their PEPS groups.

The keynote speaker was Dr. Laura Kastner, UW Professior and author of “Getting to Calm–The Art of Slowing Down as a Parent” (   Her six tips for parents seemed  relevant to anyone striving to survive and have fun in today’s fast moving business environment. Here they are.

1. You Only Need to be Good Enough
(Reaching for perfect is unrealistic and more is not always better. Know when it’s enough.)

2. Know Thy Self
(We all need to work on something.  Self awareness will help you decide your priorities.)

3. Mind the Pies
In our “pie chart world” we are often obsessed with what others think our “time
pie” should look like. Only you know where your time needs to go, so look at your allocation and adjust.

4. Understand emotion and locomotion
Conflict in families (and businesses) often occurs when someone hits our emotional buttons and we find ourselves hurtling down a track we didn’t intend. Know what pushes your buttons and know how to respond without anger.

5. Promote Positive Emotions
Take time to celebrate happiness, family and life, and make time for nature, play and calm.

6. Self Esteem is Out–Self Control Is In
(Our children need to learn how to function, work hard, have fun and thrive and that requires more self control.  We need to balance the teaching self-control with delivering praise when appropriate.)

7. Work to attain the “Balm of Calm”
Taking care of yourself has to come first. When you do achieve a “Balm of Calm” you will see that a calm mind allows a wise mind.