When things get hard, your child or teen really needs your presence more than anything else. That means they actually need our presence even if and when they're being rude or loud or whiny. It's not easy to stay with them when they're doing what all of our training tells us is the wrong thing. But we CAN stay near them and love them while staying clear.
When things go really wrong and your child loses it, being present does not look like saying,
These are things we've probably all said, right? They all push a child away when they are at their most vulnerable (Of course, it would be good for them to be vulnerable in pleasant and soft ways, and that will happen as they feel safer, closer, and sure that your presence is unconditional.). Instead, I'm recommending that we take an unconditionally present and loving approach to our kids even when they're difficult.
Being present may look like,
* But what about if they're hurting me or their sibling or themselves? Tomorrow I'll write more about how to respond lovingly when you have to take a more active role.
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.