DEAR HARRIETTE: I put my foot in my mouth this weekend. My kids got into a war of words with some of their friends that I felt, as a parent, needed to be addressed with the other parent. I talked to the other mom, and ultimately this conversation made the whole situation much worse. The kids had moved on from what seemed like a very negative situation and felt that it was resolved, only to have me stir the pot again. I have apologized to my kids, but is there anything else I should do or say? -- Foot in Mouth, Cincinnati
DEAR FOOT IN MOUTH: The best thing you can do now is nothing. Please do not call the other mom again or grill your own children. As hard as it may be for you to step back and let your children figure out how to manage their lives, you must attempt to do that. Of course, there are times when a parent should step in, particularly when the children’s safety is at risk. Outside of that, it is best to stay on the periphery observing to make sure the children are doing their best to work through a challenge without getting involved in it. Pay attention. In time, your children may double back to give you an update on what’s going on in their lives. They need to have the space to make mistakes and learn from them without having Mommy too ready at the rescue.