Parental Presence

by | Jan 24, 2020

It sounds a bit odd doesn’t it? – parental presence.  Surely as parents we are present.  We are often around our children and in their lives, so that’s being present isn’t it?  In NVR it is a lot more than that.  Being present, as in their lives, is very different to actually being ‘Present’.  For example, it is possible for a parent to be sitting right next to the child, they are physically present, but in their minds they are a million miles away.  In NVR, this parent would not be Present with their child, and the child knows it.  Raising your presence shows your child you care.  

The importance of Parental Presence

When as parents we have lost our Presence we can feel helpless and often this can result in the child feeling unsafe and insecure.  They sense our feeling of helplessness and take over control more and more to regain a sense of safety and to help them feel secure.  This can result in a vicious cycle of control or more to the point, attempted control by both the parent and child is set up – with both ultimately being miserable.  

Parental Presence is a way of providing your child with a safe harbour, or secure base, and being an anchor for them.  Imagine being a set of harbour walls.  When the ship comes into the harbour it is safe and secure.  When it is outside of the harbour the water might be rough.  You are your child’s harbour walls, helping them to feel safe all the time.  Even if they are not with you. Another way of thinking about it is like having a piece of elastic between you both that stretches but never breaks and the child can use it to feel connected to you at all times, hence Connective Parenting.    

Raising your Parental Presence

Here are some ideas to get you started:  

  • Sit on the floor with them and play a game  
  • Curl up on the sofa and watch a TV programme together (one they choose)  
  • Play a computer game with them, even if you hate computer games  
  • Go to the park together  
  • Go for a walk or cycle ride together  
  • Read a story together  
  • Do some drawings or paint or make things  
  • Listen to them more!!!!  

What you do isn’t the important thing (as long as it’s a positive experience), it’s that you are spending time with them, really focussing on them and giving them your full attention.  This isn’t 24 hours a day, that wouldn’t be possible, but it is for certain periods of time on a weekly, or daily basis.  The focus is on quality of time not quantity of time.   

The feeling they will get from spending time with you will pay dividends in the long run and will change your relationship for the better.  


Find more tips in my free Facebook group  

You could also join us in the Connective Parenting Hub where I’ll help you to increase your connection and transform your family’s life.  

It’s my monthly membership group. You get unlimited access to me, a library of online resources, the opportunity to hear from other experts and to be part of a supportive community of parents.  You can find all the details at