Parenting is a tough gig. Quite often we find ourselves exhausted and disconnected from our children. Here are some ways you can connect with your kids even when you are exhausted.
I am exhausted, all the time. Parenting, along with homemaking and all the other thousands of items on that never ending to – do list…it get’s to me sometimes. I know i’m not alone, I see it all over social media. Parents are TIRED.
But even though we may be super tired, we still need to connect with our little ones.
Connecting with children is important for their development, as it helps to build trust and establish a strong emotional bond. Children who feel connected to their parents are more likely to feel secure and confident, which can have a positive impact on their academic and social lives.
However, connecting with children can be challenging when parents are feeling SO tired. Fatigue can make it difficult to focus and be present with your children, and can lead to a lack of patience and understanding. This can make it hard to connect with your kids on a deeper level.
With a little effort and creativity, it is possible to connect with your kids even when tired. It may take some extra effort, but the benefits of connecting with your children are worth it. By being intentional and making an effort to connect with your kids, you can create a deeper and more meaningful relationship with them.
Tips For Connecting With Kids When You’re Tired
Schedule dedicated time for connection
I know it seems sort of counter intuitive, but you may want to consider actually scheduling connection time.
Scheduling dedicated time for connection with your children allows you to make sure that you are setting aside time specifically for them. This can help ensure that you are able to focus on your kids and be present with them, even when you are feeling tired.
Examples of activities that can be scheduled for connection: Having a regular family dinner, reading together before bed, playing a game together on the weekend, going for a walk or bike ride together, having a picnic or cooking a meal together.
I like to do 15 minutes of one on one time with each of my children everyday. My toddler gets a ful 15 minutes with me during the day, usually before her nap. We like to play a game together, build magnet tiles, or read books.
My older kids get one on one time after school and before bed.
This isn’t the ONLY time I spend with them but it is the “scheduled” time that is important for our daily connection. If you ever hold family meetings, this is a great time to discuss scheduling connection time.
Use technology to connect
Screens aren’t all bad bad bad… you can use technology and screens to connect with your kids.
Using technology to connect with your children can be a great way to stay in touch when you can’t be physically present. This can be especially helpful when you are feeling tired and may not have the energy for in-person interactions.
Examples of technology that can be used for connection: Video calls, text messaging, sharing photos or videos, playing online games together, watching a movie or TV show together remotely.
Take advantage of daily routines
We all know that life with kids can get pretty busy and overwhelming, especially when we’re feeling SO tired. But did you know that your daily routines can actually provide amazing opportunities for bonding with your little ones?
By making small adjustments to your daily routines, you can create more interactive and meaningful experiences for your children.
Examples of ways to make daily routines more interactive: Cooking together, listening to music together, having a conversation while driving, doing a puzzle together, having a dance party while doing chores, asking your child to help you with something.
Prioritize quality over quantity
Quality time with your children can be more meaningful than quantity. Even if you only have a short amount of time to spend with your kids, you can make the most of that time by being present and fully engaged with them.
Examples of activities that can be done in short periods of time: Having a quick conversation, sharing a joke or funny story, reading a book together, giving a quick hug or kiss, playing a quick game together.
I know you’re tired but…physical activity can be a GREAT way to connect with your children, as it can help to build trust and create shared experiences! It can also give you a boost of energy that you really need sometimes.
Examples of physical activities that can be done together: Going for a walk or bike ride, playing catch or tag, going to a park or playground, dancing together, playing a sport together.
Share a hobby
Sharing a hobby with your children can be a great way to connect with them. Hobbies can provide a shared interest and can be a source of conversation and bonding.
Examples of hobbies that can be shared: Gardening, painting, drawing, cooking, building models, photography, playing a musical instrument.
Active listening is an important aspect of connecting with your children. It involves truly hearing and understanding what they are saying, rather than just waiting for your turn to speak. Active listening can help to build trust and a deeper understanding of your child’s thoughts, feelings, and needs.
Tips for actively listening to your children: Avoid interrupting, look at them, give verbal and nonverbal cues that show you are paying attention, ask open-ended questions, repeat or summarize what they said to show you understand.
Being present with your children means being fully engaged with them in the moment, rather than being distracted by other things. It means putting aside your own worries and concerns, and being focused on your child.
Tips for being present with your children: Put away your phone, avoid multitasking, make eye contact, give them your full attention, use open-ended questions, engage them in their interests.
As parents, we all want our children to feel loved and valued. And one of the best ways to do that is by showing them physical affection. This can help to build trust and security, and create a strong emotional connection between us and our little ones.
So, let’s get into it! Here are some easy and fun ways to show affection to your children:
- Hugs and kisses: There’s nothing quite like a big bear hug or a sweet smooch to make your kiddo feel loved and cherished.
- Holding hands: Whether you’re walking through the park or just sitting on the couch watching a movie, holding hands is a simple and powerful way to show your child that you’re there for them.
- Saying “I love you”: These three little words can mean so much to our children. Make sure to say them often and with sincerity.
- Put an arm around them: When your child is feeling sad or upset, sometimes all they need is a comforting arm around their shoulder to make things better.
- Give a pat on the back: Celebrate your child’s accomplishments – big or small – by giving them a pat on the back or a high-five.
- Smile: A simple smile can go a long way in showing your child that you’re happy to be with them and that you love them unconditionally.
Remember, showing affection doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. It’s the little things that count! So, go ahead and give your kiddos some extra love today. They deserve it!
Take care of yourself
Taking care of yourself is an important aspect of being able to connect with your children. When you are feeling tired or stressed, it can be difficult to be there for your children as they demand your constant attention… By taking care of yourself, you can ensure that you have the energy and focus to connect with your children.
Examples of self-care activities: Exercise, meditate, get enough sleep, eat a healthy diet, make time for hobbies, socialize with friends and family, take a relaxing bath, read a book, practice yoga, listen to music, journal.
Encouraging independence can foster connection with your children by teaching them to become more self-sufficient and responsible. This can help to build their self-esteem and confidence, which can lead to deeper and more meaningful connections with them.
Examples of ways to encourage independence: Allow them to make their own choices, give them responsibilities, teach them how to do things on their own, give them the opportunity to solve their own problems, provide guidance and support but not doing the task for them, set boundaries and rules.
Being creative together can be such a fun and meaningful way to bond with our children. It allows them to express themselves freely, and gives us a chance to let loose and have some fun too!
Plus, when we create together, we’re building an environment of playful communication and experimentation that can help to strengthen our relationship with our children.
Playing games can be a fun and effective way to connect with your children. It can provide a shared experience, foster teamwork and create an environment for laughter and light-heartedness.
Examples of games that can be played together: Board games, card games, video games, sports, outdoor games, puzzles, word games, riddles, charades.
Volunteering together can be a powerful way to connect with your children. It allows you to give back to the community while also teaching your children important values such as empathy, compassion and social responsibility. Additionally, it can create shared experiences and memories that can strengthen the bond between family members.
Examples of volunteer opportunities that can be done as a family: Cleaning up a park, visiting a nursing home, helping out at a soup kitchen, participating in a charity walk, helping out at a local animal shelter, planting trees or flowers, participating in a beach or river clean-up.
Cooking together can be a great way to connect with your children. It can be a fun and interactive activity that allows you to bond over a shared interest, teaches them life skills and allows you to share a meal together.
Examples of meals that can be cooked together: Baking cookies, making pizzas, preparing a salad, making sushi, cooking a traditional family meal, making homemade ice cream(my sons favorite!), making smoothies.
Take a walk
Taking a walk can be a great way to connect with your children. It allows you to spend time together while also getting some fresh air and exercise. Additionally, it can provide an opportunity for conversation and bonding.
Ideas for making walks more interactive: Play a game of I Spy, have a scavenger hunt, take turns telling a story, look for different types of leaves or flowers, have a picnic, have a race or challenge.
Reading together can be a great way to connect with your children. It allows you to share a common interest, spend quality time together and it can also be an opportunity to foster their love for reading. Additionally, it can provide an opportunity for conversation and bonding.
Examples of books that can be read together: Picture books, chapter books, graphic novels, poetry, classic literature, nonfiction, audiobooks.
Create a family tradition
Family traditions can foster connection by providing a sense of continuity and shared experiences. They can create a sense of belonging and can be a source of fond memories.
Examples of family traditions that can be started: Having a family game night, having a movie night, having a family dinner every week, having a family vacation every year, having a special holiday breakfast, having a special holiday activity, having a family day out once a month.
Write a letter
Writing a letter can be a great way to connect with your children. It allows you to express your feelings and thoughts, and it can be a way to create a lasting memory. Additionally, it can be a fun and interactive activity that allows you to bond over a shared interest.
Ideas for the content of the letter: Share memories, express love and appreciation, share advice, give encouragement, share your hopes and dreams for them, share your own experiences and lessons.
Make a memory box
Making a memory box can be a great way to connect with your children. It allows you to create a lasting memory of your time together and it can be a way to keep special memories and items that have sentimental value.
Ideas for items to include in the memory box: Photos, ticket stubs, special trinkets, artwork, special cards or notes, special items from a vacation or trip, a lock of hair, a pressed flower, a special toy or item.
Whew! That was a BIG list!
In this article you read about tips for dealing with kids while you’re tired and these tips include scheduling dedicated time for connection, using technology to connect, taking advantage of daily routines, prioritizing quality over quantity, getting physical, sharing a hobby, listening actively, being present, showing affection, and taking care of yourself.
Connecting with your children is essential for their development and well-being, as well as for your relationship with them. It can be challenging when you are feeling tired, but with a little effort and creativity, it is possible to connect with your kids even when tired.
The importance of connecting with children cannot be overstated. It helps to build trust and establish a strong emotional bond, which can have a positive impact on their academic and social lives. It’s a small investment of time and effort that can yield big results in terms of relationship building and emotional well-being of your child.