The most important thing you can do as a parent?

Show up.

Well, duh, you may be thinking, I already know that I need to show up for my kids.

I know, we all know that showing up is key when it comes to lasting relationships with out kids.

We know we need to unplug, be mindful, stay present when we are sharing space with these.

Yes, we know this.  And then life happens.

And you know what leaves me feeling resentful and irritated on this parenting journey?  That my kids getting older doesn’t mean they need me less. 

Yes, I just wrote that I feel resentful and irritated.

I want to keep it real hear in parent blog land.  

I love my children, I love working with parents, I love all the tools of Positive Discipline that I share with the world.

And some of the time, I feel resentful and irritated.

Sometimes I want them to just brush their damn teeth without needing to be supervising.

I want them to help clean up after dinner without me nagging at them.

And honestly, I want to be able to send an email or a text without all hell breaking loose because I am not 100% engaged!!

Is this too much to ask? 

No.

The truth is, just because my kids are getting older, doesn’t mean they want to be any less connected to me.  Just because they can do so much more on their own, doesn’t mean they don’t want me there. 

And the mischief?  Well, it’s just the perfect way to engage me.

 Ugh.

So, what do I do?

I show up.  I show up throughout the day.  I know those “hot spot” times where my presence will invite my children to show up as their best.

Before school – I’m there. 

The half hour after they get home from school – I’m listening.

After dinner – I am engaged.

Bedtime – Well, I might as well brush my teeth too, right? 

Yes, I fantasize about saying “go upstairs and get ready for bed” and watching both of my children peacefully climb the stairs and do what they need to do, without ramping each other up… 

And as they get older (they are 9 and almost 12) this may actually happen. 

And on that day, I will need to come up with new and creative ways of staying connected to them.  Connected when they aren’t trying to engage me.  Connected when they are actually pulling away.

Because that day is coming, my friends.  And I’m okay with it.

So today, I will show up.

I will smile at them, listen to them, love them up. 

I will notice my resentment and irritation, breathe deep into it, and recognize that my kids are making a bid for me to connect. 

Big love to you today, as you show up for your kids.

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