12 Ways To Connect With Your Kids When You’re Tired AF

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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.

You’re tired AF, and your kids are demanding more of your attention than ever. While it’s important for them to get the attention they need, you also don’t want to make yourself sick or go crazy trying to do everything for everyone all the time. Here are 12 ways to connect with your kids that don’t require much energy or effort from either party:

1. Take a walk

  • Take a walk together.
  • Listen to the sounds of nature.
  • Talk about your day or their day, or both! What did you do? How did it go? What are some things you’re looking forward to in the future? What’s something that was unexpected or surprising about your day?
  • In general, just be present with each other and listen attentively when someone is speaking!

2. Read a book together

Reading is a great way to connect with your kids. You can read a book together, or you can read a book to them individually. It’s also nice to read books just for yourself, or even your partner. Consider reading the same book as your child(ren), and see where their interests lead!

3. Watch a movie or TV show together

Do you remember the first time you and your child watched “The Lion King” together? (Or, maybe it was “Wall-E,” or “Frozen.”) You might be thinking back to those moments fondly now, but at the time they were probably some of the most trying in your life as a parent. It’s hard work to get kids to sit through even half a movie, let alone one whole movie! And yet somehow there are parents out there who manage this feat on a regular basis. This is because watching movies and TV shows together is one easy way of connecting with kids when they’re tired AF.

You can watch movies or TV shows together on the couch, in bed… even outside! You could bring along snacks or spread out blankets so everyone can enjoy themselves comfortably wherever they end up sitting down for their viewing party (and if your kid wants something else from their room—like toys—make sure you allow them). When watching movies or TV shows together with kids who are tired AF

4. Do something nice for someone else

Doing something nice for someone else is the perfect way to show your kids how it feels to be kind, and teach them empathy. You can also teach them the importance of being grateful and giving back by getting them involved. They’ll learn that when they perform acts of kindness, they’re making other people’s lives better—and their own too!

5. Go to the playground or park

  • If you have a playground nearby, go there.
  • If you don’t, get out of the house and take them to the park! Or even better—the beach!
  • Take them on the swings and slides (and see-saw if there is one) and other things that will keep them happy for hours. Bring snacks and drinks so they can stay happy while they play.

6. Cook together in the kitchen

Cooking together is a great way to connect with your kids. It can be a fun and creative activity that teaches them about healthy eating, and it’s an excellent opportunity for you to spend quality time together. If you have younger children, try doing a cooking show—this will make it more fun and engaging for them!

7. Snuggle on the couch or bed and tell each other jokes or funny stories

  • Snuggle on the couch or bed and tell each other jokes or funny stories.

Think of something funny that happened to you recently. Or, if you can’t think of any good stories, go through your memory bank for an embarrassing story about yourself when you were younger (everyone has one).

You could also look up some funny stuff online together, like this list of awkward things kids say or this list from Buzzfeed about the funniest parent fails ever recorded in a YouTube video.

8. Have a dance party in your living room, kitchen, or backyard to your favorite songs (the sillier the song, the better)

  • Play music with them.
  • Dance! The sillier the song, the better—you’ll both have a blast.
  • Have a little dance party in your living room, kitchen, or backyard to your favorite songs (the sillier the song, the better).

9. Play with their toys with them, and you will have fun too! (You might even get some amusing new insights into their little minds.

  • Play with their toys with them, and you will have fun too! (You might even get some amusing new insights into their little minds.)

Your kids’ toys are a goldmine of joy and amusement. A cardboard box can be a car, spaceship, robot or castle. Legos provide hours of entertainment. Playing make-believe with dolls or action figures can be great fun for everyone involved: the children playing along; your role as Mom or Dad playing the part of whatever it is that you are pretending to be; and even yourself if you let yourself get swept up in the spirit of things!

10. Give them a foot rub (if they’re old enough for that)

  • Give them a foot rub (if they’re old enough for that)

This is a fantastic way to connect with your kids when you are feeling tired AF and they want something from you like their favorite TV show on, or help with their homework. I would recommend setting up some ground rules like “no tickling” or “only when it’s really really annoying”. A foot rub can also be done while taking a bath together–just make sure to supervise so no one slips!

11. Don’t try to cram it all in

  • Don’t try to cram it all in

If you want your child to actually connect with you, don’t rush through activities. As a parent, I know how tempting it is to go from one thing to another, especially when we have a busy schedule and our kids are constantly asking us for more attention. But if you try cramming everything into one day, your kid will be overwhelmed—and even worse off than before! Give yourself time between activities so that there’s room for spontaneous conversations and bonding moments.

12. Put yourself back on your to-do list (and keep it there)

I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: taking care of yourself first is the best way for you to take care of your family. You can’t do that if you’re too tired to think straight, so prioritize sleep and exercise in order to keep yourself fresh enough for bedtime stories and school runs.

One of my favorite ways to make sure I’m getting enough rest is by using a sleep app like Sleep Cycle or Sleep Time which use wake-up sounds rather than alarms in order to gently coax me out of slumber without startling me awake at full volume (something my husband can totally appreciate). As long as I’m able , I’ll also try my best not only hit 10K steps per day but also squeeze in time for half hour workout session before dinner—even if it’s just some light cardio on an elliptical machine at home!

You’re tired, you’re busy, but you can find ways to connect with your kids that don’t require too much energy or effort

You’re tired, you’re busy, but you can find ways to connect with your kids that don’t require too much energy or effort. Just because you feel like a zombie all day doesn’t mean you need to be one at home too.

You want to be a good role model for your children so they can see how important it is for parents to take time out of their days for family bonding and prioritizing each other above everything else. This will teach them values that will last them a lifetime and help build stronger relationships between everyone in the family.

Conclusion

I’m sure you’re tired, and I know you’re busy. But I hope these tips will help you find ways to connect with your kids that don’t require too much energy or effort on your part. These are all simple things that can make your life better—and maybe even make you happier!

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