You got frustrated. Because they were being annoying. Because you already told them. Because they know they’re not supposed to hurt their brother like that.
But why was your temper so short? And why were they even in a position to hurt their sibling?
Because you weren’t paying attention. You were multitasking—checking your email, trying to talk to someone, trying to do something that, quite honestly, could have easily waited until later. Whether it was five hours or even just five minutes.
This parenting thing is really hard. It demands so much from us, emotionally and physically. But nothing makes it harder than trying to do something else at the same time. And when we are present? When we’re actually just there, giving them our full attention, playing whatever silly game they want to play as if it wasn’t ridiculous? Well, nothing makes parenting easier.
Sometimes your kids bother you as a test. They want to see if you’re paying attention, if you’re listening. Sometimes they act out because they know you’re not. So stop! Put the phone down. Decide with your spouse to circle back to this conversation later. Do that house project later.
Now is now. It’s a moment as good as any to make the most of. To be a good parent in. To be present for.