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).
I'm a mom, wife, daughter, friend, and teacher who has long struggled with the desire to be the perfect person I imagine that I should be. Practicing mindfulness helps me find peace with my imperfect journey--being with myself as I truly am, loving my family as they are, and showing up for a messy world with openness and compassion.