So often, parents arrive in my office complaining of a lack of direction, and of feeling disrespected by their children. Overwhelmed with schedules and logistics, many of these parents are experiencing a far deeper loss. A loss born of not really knowing their kids… Not knowing what they love? What they dream? What makes them tick? They’ve lost the connection that can only exist from spending time with and engaging in their children’s lives. They’re missing the experience of each of their children as unique and dynamic individuals.
With time, these parents often admit to being too busy, too distracted, or too overworked. To ease their own guilt, they have convinced themselves that dropping their kids off at their practice, game, or lesson is encouraging their independence. I would argue that the realmessage these kids receive is that mom or dad simply aren’t interested--or don’t care—about what they are doing or involved in.
Kids will protest your presence (because it’s definitely NOT COOL to be excited that mom is sitting in the bleachers!), but don’t for a minute convince yourself that they don’t need or want you there! Far from being “on the sidelines,” you will actually have a “front row seat” to your child’s engagement with their world. There is rich and powerful information to glean from witnessing your child’s beaming pride of accomplishment—or their agony in defeat.
But - only if you’re there.
So, slow down, re-prioritize, and choose tojustbe there.