Lindsay, “Be present! Show them how important they are. Show you care about what they have to say or show you. Enjoy the quality time with them. Everyone wants to feel loved and cared for, not ignored. Be present for them always.” Tip #8
After reading her Lindsay’s tips I didn’t even know where to start. Our parenting styles and techniques are so aligned, maybe the most aligned. It was as if she was articulating my practices perfectly, better than I.
I too felt to be effective, being present is an absolute must. You really can’t fool kids.
In my journey there were times I wasn’t feeling very “present.” Times I wasn’t thrilled with having to be a Mom. In those moments, I employed what I now I referred to as a “Meryl-Streep-Mother-Mode.” I reached to put my feelings aside, act mature, responsible, and even thrilled. I put on a happy face and “acted as if.”
We can all do this! It does requires focus, skill, and most of all maturity. Kind of follows the premise, “fake it until you make it.” Parents must be convincing and expression is a prerequisite.
I recall in my own upbringing, the phrase “I love you” was bounced off the wall every day; however, expression and authenticity were missing. It’s hard to believe you are loved, if the person telling you has their lip curled. As a child, I felt the words were empty when I heard them, and when I said them. I was not convinced. There was little expression, and no demonstration of happiness when I entered a room.
I knew I wanted to do better for my son. I wanted to ensure Michael felt love without any question. I wanted to convey it in words, actions, and feelings. I wasn’t always in a loving mood, but when I wasn’t I did launch into “Meryl-Streep-Mother-Mode.” Even when I wasn’t feeling so loving, I was sure to include expression, epic-award-winning expression.
I remember, when Michael would return from a sleep over, I would await his arrival sitting on the front step. When I saw him I said (with a big smile), “I haven’t moved from this place since you left. Life is so boring without you.” Michael would smile back, knowing I was kidding, but maybe wondering if this could be true. Love was conveyed. I was present and expressive even if, at times, not entirely genuine.
As a single Mom, of course, I was happy to get an overnight break. Sometimes, I was stressed when Michael was returning. I had many things to do. At times I didn’t want to be a Mom! I would never let him see it. Never!
I think at times, parents give themselves too much credit for just ‘being there.’ They belly aching about how they are “always there.” Sometimes just being ‘there’ can do more harm than good. I can say this from experience! The magic lies in being present, ever present. I may not have always been ‘there,’ but I was ever present.
What a strong foundation Lindsay’s son will have. I will be eagerly watching from my virtual seat in her world. I can already see the precious love and happiness shared by these two beautiful people. I know their kindness and gratitude will continue to impact lives for many years to come!
Thanks Lindsay, for your trust and faith in me. : )