MDI Children changing parent controls

Ok, I'll bite the bullet and ask the question.  How in the heck do you allow
two forms (Parent & Child) to modify each other's controls?  Before you
answer, here's what I do so far:

* In the parent USES clause, I put the name of the MDIChild form
* Since I can't USE the parent form (Circular reference) in the MDIChild, I
can't modify controls on the parent form.  (Ie: status bar, buttons, etc.)

What I have been doing is this:

  In the child form, I say something like:

           pParentStatusBar : TPanel;
        procedure form2.button1click( Sender : TObject );
           pParentStatusBar.Caption := 'Got here!';

  Then in the parent form, I have to say

        procedure form1.button1click( Sender : Tobject);
           pParentStatusBar := Form1.StatusBar;

There has to be an easier way to do this!!!  I can't believe you'd have to
declare all the shared controls in both parent and child simply because you
can't have a circular reference.  Any workarounds would be greatly
appreciated. (In Visual Basic, this was *EXTEREMELY* simple)

Thanks in advance,

Mike Dotts