The power of showing up as a parent

The power of showing up as a parent blog article was written by Nina Moffatt, Parenting and Early Years Consultant and Therapeutic Specialist at Australian Childhood Foundation.


In the book ‘The Power of Showing Up’, Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson describe showing up as; to bring one’s whole being – your attention and awareness, to be mentally and emotionally present in the moments one shares with their child. Readers are invited to make sense of their own experience with their own parents and to then consider how they show up in the lives of their own children now. Readers are encouraged with the words that “history is not destiny”, regardless of how you were parented growing up, you can be the parent you want to be for your children and you choose the extent in which you show up for your own children.  

As I came to the end of a foundation Bringing Up Great Kids (BUGK) parenting group, a parent offered their realisation that parenting is doing more. They were referring to having kids, and feeding, housing and entertaining them as one thing, but to actively engage in parenting is to do more than this. It is this sense of showing up, that Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson present in their book, that this parent was reflecting on. Acknowledging that their journey of parenting, started in one place, before more actively and mindfully stepping into a place of parenting and considering how they ‘show up’ for their children in the day to day.

BUGK had provided the opportunities for this parent to reflect on their own experience of being parented and the extent to which and how their parents showed up for them, and what the experience was like. For this parent, this space also provided them the opportunity to reflect on their culture, how this had shaped their own parents parenting and now themselves as a parent. Coming from a culture that they felt did not encourage parents to actively engage in parenting, or show up for their children, this parent had made a conscious decision to show up for their children. This parent acknowledged the challenge that it was to choose to step into mindful, conscious parenting in each interaction when this moved away from their own experience of when they were parented. This parent was reassured in their journey through BUGK as the group reflected on these challenges and the moments that do not go so well and supported them to explore repair in those moments.  

“You don’t have to be perfect. We’re all going to mess up at times. We’re all going to be fearful, we’re going to be grumpy. Just repair & move on”

– Tina Payne Bryson, co-author – The Power of Showing Up. 

Daniel J. Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson’s, The Power of Showing Up, is an easy-to-read book, that invites all parents to reflect on and make sense of their own story. The chapters take parents on a journey to explore how they can support their children to feel safe, seen, soothed and secure. 


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