I know many of us tell those around us about how we are (and think other targeted parents are as well) constantly working on ways to help get our kids back or struggle to co-parent with a dysfunctional ex.

But I’m willing to bet every single person has at times (more time than they probably want to admit to themselves or anyone else) that they are spending a fair amount of time busy doing nothing.

When I say “busy doing nothing” I mean “doing” nothing as in when not needing to be somewhere or do something many are sleeping a lot, trying to get all kinds of things more things done—but not succeeding—noticing all the things that might or could be a good idea to do—but are left undone—and berating ourselves for not doing all of it. The hamster-wheel logic is if we could get more done we could get our kids back, or at least improve the relationships we currently have.

After all… we’re dealing with a variety of issues— Courts that don’t get it, therapists that don’t get it, perhaps even former friends/family that can’t see what’s going on when the truth is so evident to us.

So what is there to do to solve this? What can we possibly do that will make a difference based on what’s been happening so far?

The answer sometimes is— to actually DO nothing.

One of the biggest issues that we have as targeted parents or caregivers are falling prey to the internal agitation the alienator in our lives goes to great lengths to stir up. They do everything they can so that we feel like we are worthless or worth-less, that we need to justify our value to everyone. This is because they have a very unstable concept of themselves and need to drag you into the same pit in order to have a chance at staying in control of the situation. They want you to be thinking like that, churning, scheming, thinking about how you are going to get them—thinking about how you need to better explain yourself to the legal system in the therapeutic system so that they’ll understand that you are actually worthy of having your own children in your life.

But the truth is… don’t need to explain yourself.

First and foremost your (and anyone’s) value is inherent. This story of worth being tied to productivity is engrained in lots of social factors like industrial era brainwashing.  You are not a factory nor are you a widget.

Time doing stuff doesn’t equal value. Being as present as you can and does noticeably enhance the value of any effort you put out. That’s what matters.

Making sure you were getting proper rest, meditating, remembering to do simple things like eat enough and drink enough, balancing any chemical imbalance as you may have due to the chronic stress you’ve been experiencing through medication or supplementation. That’s what matters.

We’ve all been around someone who is agitation is palpable even when they’re not saying anything and others who even when they’re speaking come across as very quiet. It cannot be overstated that getting control of this way of coming across is one of the singularly most effective things anyone of us can “do.” We, of course, need to do many tangible things to properly respond to what’s going on around us but the way in which we respond makes all the difference.

How do we do that?

Staying focused on the very next right thing you can do rather than trying to get everything done at once for starters. Going from trying to get 100 things done to one will immediately help calm you down and move forward in the right direction.

Find something to be grateful for. Every single day you can find at least one thing. Apart from it feeling good there is substantial scientific evidence that shows it completely changes your chemistry and allows you to stay focused and responsive rather than scattered and reactive.

Your presence is requested by your children.

Stay focused on what your children need. If they aren’t with you very much or at all right now you can still, even by the way you think about them or if you have contact with them… respond to them in such a way that they know they have both of you. That’s what matters.

Even if what they’re doing or saying on the outside doesn’t convey that it doesn’t make it any less true for them.

And doing nothing sometimes, intentionally and deliberately, can be one of the most powerful steps in changing things for the better, and will make all the effort you do put in that much more effective.