Amanda Amanda is a married 30-something with three kids. She previously worked full-time as a clinical social worker in a homeless shelter for young mothers. She earned her masters degree while commuting to school and learned to share parenting and conflicting parenting styles with her husband. Now she is learning to manage her career, marriage, kids, and personal time. Amanda is also a writer, a continuously-trying-to-start-again runner, reader, cook, novice pianist, terrible housekeeper, and amateur juggler. She hates laundry. Contact Amanda by emailing

I could go on for days about everything I’m pretty sure I’m not getting right. Everything I know I need to do better. Everything that makes me compulsively eat ice cream while crying to myself in the bathroom.

But I’d rather talk about something I know I’ve gotten right. One of my best parenting moments started maybe six or seven years ago, around the time I was able to have a real conversation with my preschoolers and toddler. And I totally stole it from a movie.


At dinner time or sometimes bedtime, I ask my kids to share their high and low. What was the best thing that happened today? What was the worst?

As time has progressed, a couple more questions have been added. What fills your bucket? And sometime last year I started also asking what they are thankful for.

Recently, yet another question was added at the request of my 10-year-old: What do you hope will happen tomorrow?

When the day has been busy, my youngest always reminds me by asking “High, low, fill bucket?” It’s our family shorthand for the questions.

High, low, fill bucket has provided consistency, routine, and countless loving interactions. Even on the rough days, my kids climb into my arms and answer these questions. It ends the day with a loving, calming routine that helps everyone let go of the worries and troubles of the day.

I know this is one of my best parenting moments because it’s so important to my kids. They ask for it at the end of the day, and no matter how grumpy they are, they participate in the ritual. High, low, fill bucket is one piece of parenting that I know I’ve gotten right.

Parenting is made up of a million little moments. Some we get right, a lot we get wrong, and sometimes something happens where we know we’ve nailed it. Hold onto those moments, those times when all the work pays off and we can see we’re not totally screwing this thing up.

What is one part of parenting you think you’re doing right? Share your best parenting moment in the comments!

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