Just as I wrote in Love Wisely and With Understanding, it's not enough to love kids, we also have to communicate that love in ways they can feel and understand. Lots of us are still carrying around the feeling of not being seen, loved, and understood, and many, many children are carrying those feelings.
To parent well is to love well, which mean to love and accept our children as they are even though they are imperfect.
Are there ways that it's hard to do that, ways that you hold your child at a distance when they aren't perfect? Let's add on to yesterday's practice of greeting them warmly. Imagine loving them with no attachment to their good behavior. Loving just because they are, not because they do anything.
Let's imagine greeting every choice they make with love. Love is not necessarily permission or a specific action--you may lovingly take the stick out of their hand before they crash into the dog with it, reminding them that it's not safe.
You may lovingly pick them up when they're hurt and just hold them before getting the first aid kit.
You may answer their urgent text for a last-minute ride lovingly, even if you can't give them the ride.
You can listen to their fears and worries lovingly, not trying to rush them past them (especially as many of our kids are about to start a new school year and may be nervous).
As a mom (to 2 teenage sons), wife, and person in the world, I have been on a long imperfect journey. I have made many mistakes, but with mindfulness, emotional reflection, and lots of support I have learned enormously from those mistakes.